Saturday, January 31, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

The Beatles - Till There Was You

Rock & Roll Tidbits

"I'm A Believer,” the Monkees’ follow-up to their number one hit, "Last Train To Clarksville" was a million seller before it was even released, due to over 1 million advance orders.

Although many fans thought that the Beatles "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" was about LSD, John Lennon would later say that he got the inspiration for the song from a picture that his son Julian had painted at school.

John Lennon deliberately wrote nonsense words to "I Am The Walrus" to throw off listeners who tried to find hidden meanings in his lyrics.

It’s said that Beatle George Harrison really appreciated the true talent of the Spice Girls. “The good thing about them,” the quiet Beatle mused, “Is that you can look at them with the sound turned down.”

In 1956, Micky and Sylvia recorded the million selling "Love Is Strange.” After the duo split in 1961, Micky Baker would write several guitar instruction books, including the best seller "Jazz Guitar.” Sylvia Vanderpool co-founded All Platinum Records and co-wrote The Moments 1970 gold record "Love On A Two Way Street.”

To say Kurt Cobain was a bit sloppy is an understatement. Routinely, his house was littered with garbage and rotting food. When the Cobain’s tried to hire a maid, she ran out of their house screaming that “Satan lives here!”

When Alice Cooper and his band mates auditioned for musician Frank Zappa, he put his hands over his ears and screamed: “Alright, alright I’ll sign you! I’ll sign you! Just stop playing!” He wanted the band to become a comedy act called Alice’s Cookies.

Alice Cooper’s band invited a prospective manager to attend on of their gigs and soon after the group started playing, the crowd of more than 3,000 people got up and left. This actually impressed the manager, he stated, “Do you know how hard it is to get three thousand people to do anything all at once!”

David Bowie proposed to his first wife Angie with the words: “Can you handle the fact that I don’t love you?”

Rocker John Mellencamp was born with spina bifida, a potentially crippling neural tube defect that required surgery and a lengthy hospitalization.

Despite having a long list of hit records to her credit, there were two more that Cher could have had. In 1973 she was offered "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia,” but turned it down. Vicki Lawrence took it to number one. She also had first crack at "Angie Baby" in 1974, but again felt it wasn't her kind of song. Helen Reddy's version would top the US chart.

The Strawberry Alarm Clock had a 1967, number one hit with "Incense and Peppermints.” As a part of their live act, drummer Randy Seol played the bongos with his hands on fire.

Apparently playing guitar for Fleetwood Mac drove musicians crazy. Guitarist Peter Green would cry while watching the TV news, wore white robes onstage and fought very hard to give all the band’s money away to charity. In fact, when the band’s manager tried to present Green with a royalty check, Green attached him with an air rifle and was sent away to a mental hospital.

Fleetwood Mac guitarist Jeremy Spencer was a bit eccentric. He traveled with a tiny bible sewn into the lining of his coat and he filled condoms with milk and would hang them from the pegs of his guitar. In Hawaii, he left the hotel where they were staying, stating: “I’ll be right back.” However, he changed his name to Jonathan and joined a religious cult known as the “Children of God.”

In 1972, Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan got so stressed out that five minutes before a gig, he vanished into a bathroom, bashed his head against the all, smashed his guitar, and stated: “I’m not going on.” He wound up watching the gig from the soundboard and was later admitted to a mental institution.

Before Neil Young joined Crosby, Stills and Nash, the original trio had already asked George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood to become the fourth member of their group.

Paul Simon took the title of his song "Mother and Child Reunion" from the name of a chicken-and-egg dish he saw on a Chinese restaurant's menu.

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch nails really disliked Axl Rose. According to Reznor, the Guns N’ Roses front man was surrounded by people who said things like: “Yes, Mr. Rose, that does smell good, can I flush it for you?”

If you listen carefully to Marvin Gaye's 1971 smash "What's Going On,” you can hear former Detroit Lions Mel Farr and Lem Barney talking and singing in the background.

During the recording of Ted Nugent's 1976 album "Free For All,” singer / guitarist Derek St. Holmes left the band for personal reasons. A singer named Marvin Aday, who would one day be known as Meat Loaf, replaced him on five songs.

Album Cover Art

Continuing the series about album cover art, let's look at a 1972 LP from Dianne Davidson. When I first saw it, I was impressed with the amount of color, check it out

Music News & Notes

Nash & CSN News

On his way to Rolling Stone headquarters in New York to talk about his new three-CD career spanning box set, Graham Nash was thinking about a song he wrote more than 40 years ago. “I was seduced by a beautiful woman down in Long Island,” Nash says. “She was married. The song is a confession to a friend.”

The song is one of 64 tracks on "Reflections," which will trace Nash's career from the Hollies, through the many incarnations of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, to his recent solo work.

“I went through 44 versions of the set before I settled on this one,” he stated. “It was painful for me because I’m not for introspection or resting on my laurels. A lot of the musical soundtrack to my life is on this box set.”

Nash also plans on hitting the road this summer for Crosby, Stills and Nash’s 40th anniversary tour. The iconic trio are also in the early stages of recording a new covers album under the guidance of legendary producerRick Rubin.


White Stripes Auction

White Stripes drummer Meg White is donating a drum kit to auction off as part of a fundraiser for Detroit music scene legend Jim Shaw. Shaw was recently diagnosed with cancer.

The drum kit, which is from the Stripes' 2003 video "The Hardest Button To Button," will be auctioned off online. Besides the drum kit, the auction includes photographs and other pieces of art.

For more details about the benefit, visit the Jim Shaw Fundraiser MySpace page.

Jim Shaw MySpace


Country Star Rich Pens Song For Autoworkers

Country super star John Rich — of the duo Big & Rich — has written a song/anthem called "Shuttin' Detroit Down" to help the embattled auto workers in their time of need. Rich premiered it this week on Detroit's WYCD-FM and has been performing it during a radio station tour.

The Detroit Free Press reported on Friday that the host of the "AfterMidNite" country program that is heard on more than 250 outlets says the initial reaction to the song have been strong. A Warner Bros. spokeswoman says it rushed a copy of the song to radio stations and had no idea it would explode.

The chorus begins, "In the real world, they're shuttin' Detroit down, while the boss-man takes his bonus and jets on out of town."

Now, if he would donoate the proceeds to help laid off auto workers......


Springsteen calls Wal-Mart deal a mistake

The Boss is owning up to a mistake.

In an interview with The New York Times, Bruce Springsteen says he shouldn't have inked an exclusive deal with Wal-Mart. Starting this month, the giant retailer started selling a Springsteen greatest-hits CD.

Some lontime fans were critical because Springsteen has been a longtime supporter of worker's rights and Wal-Mart has faced criticism for its labor practices. Springsteen's marketing team didn't explore the issue as closely as it should have and that he "dropped the ball on it," he told the New York Times for a story that will be published in the Sunday editions.

According to the boss: "It was a mistake. Our batting average is usually very good, but we missed that one. Fans will call you on that stuff, as it should be."

"Millions of Springsteen fans have counted on Wal-Mart over the years to deliver his music into their lives, and we it will continue to offer those fans this 'Greatest Hits' exclusive and his other popular albums at unbeatable prices," Wal-Mart said in a statement, adding: "We are proud of the good jobs, benefits and career opportunities we provide to more than 1.4 million U.S. associates who choose to work at Wal-Mart and serve our customers every day."

Springsteen released his new CD "Working on a Dream" this week and will be performing the halftime show at the Super Bowl.


Germany's RITUAL To Release New Album In March - Jan. 30, 2009

German hardcore band RITUAL will release its new album, "Beneath Aging Flesh And Bone", on March 17 via Reflections Records. According to a press release, RITUAL has "created a record that combines melody, heaviness, anger and angst to an absolute hardcore masterpiece." "Beneath Aging Flesh And Bone" is "the best, the smartest, the most reflected and above all, the darkest material that RITUAL has written so far."

The CD comes in a deluxe digipack and LP in gatefold sleeve and in the following colors:

* 250 x transparent blue vinyl
* 250 x transparent blue/black splatter vinyl
* 500 x solid white vinyl

For more information, visit


Grammy Awards

Kid Rock, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Rihanna, and U2 are the latest performers announced for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards.

They join previously announced performers Kenny Chesney, Coldplay, Jennifer Hudson, Jonas Brothers, Lil Wayne, Paul McCartney (with special guest drummer Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters), Katy Perry, Radiohead, T.I. and Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood, and Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, T.I. and Kanye West in a special performance of their hit single "Swagga Like Us."


Punk Singer Dies

John McCarthy, the singer for '80s Boston punk metal pioneers Post Mortem, has died at age 40. The group's guitarist John Alexander wrote on Myspace, " He was/is one of my oldest friends. An interesting character with many great stories to tell, he will be missed..... We had just finished recording the music for a new Post Mortem record (John wrote most of the words for it.) The vocals were not done and John was planning on doing his vocals in February. His goal of making another Post Mortem record has ended. This band was everything to him. I think we'll finish it up somehow and dedicate it to him....."


Super Furry Animals LP

Super Furry Animals are putting the finishing touches to their ninth studio album and it will be released this Spring. The album will first be released digitally on March 16 through the band's official website, with a physical format following on April 13 for the UK and April 21 for the US.


Metallica Working Hard

Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo recently spoke with LiveDaily. During the interview the topic of the band's future was brought up and Robert let drop that they are already working on new musical ideas. Here is that part of the exchange:

LiveDaily: What do you see for the future of Metallica? You have one more album left on your deal with Warner Bros., correct?

Trujillo: Basically, I don't know the technical details. I can only tell you this: outside of the business side of things — which is probably what you're asking me — on a creative level, the sky's the limit. To me, "Death Magnetic" is only a launch pad. We're already jamming on new ideas and new riffs. There's a rhythm-section thing that I'm feeling with Lars that I'd like to dive into even more so with the future. It's great to be playing thrashy, heavy riffs again, too. That's one of the things with this band — there's no shortage of musical ideas. When you check out some of the other bands that have been around for so many years, sometimes the hardest thing is to stay motivated. Sometimes bands will end up playing almost like — how do you say it? — a tribute scenario where they're playing all the hits all the time. That's cool. But the future of [that type of] band doesn't seem as interesting. I think we still got it in us to create interesting music and to get even better with it. That's kind of fun.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

The Beatles - All My Loving

Rock & Roll Tidbits

Rocky Burnette's "Tired Of Toein' The Line" was written in half an hour and was originally released as the "B" side of a single called "Clowns From Outerspace.” After EMI Records re-released it as an "A" side, the song became a #8 hit in the US.

The inspiration for Tommy Tutone's 1982 hit "867-5309 / Jenny" actually came from a girl named Jenny whose parent's phone number really was 867-5309.

In the late 60’s, Maurice Gibb (of the Bee Gees) loved to drive his cars, especially his Rolls-Royce. However, he had a problem; he was so short that he had to sit on a phone book to see over the hood.

Danny and The Juniors got their big break when they were called to fill in for a group that failed to show up for Dick Clark’s American Bandstand show in Philadelphia. They lip-synced "At The Hop,” which then took off like a rocket to #1 in the US. A few years later, Chubby Checker was invited to make his first TV appearance on Bandstand when Danny and The Juniors didn't show.

When Bob Dylan became a born-again Christian in 1978, he tried to convince his record producer Jerry Wexler to join the flock. No matter how hard he tried, Dylan’s efforts were futile as Wexler explained: “Bob, you’re dealing with a sixty-two year old confirmed Jewish atheist. I’m hopeless. Let’s just make an album.”

Elvis Presley was always known as a spiritual person. In fact, he always wore a Christian cross, a Star of David and the Hebrew letter Chi. As Presley stated: “I don’t want to miss out on Heaven due to a technicality.”

For a religious man, Elvis had some odd quirks, including shooting at television sets whenever annoying performers were on. One of his favorite ‘shoot the TV’ episodes was whenever singer Robert Goulet was on a show.

In the spring of 1966, jam rockers the Grateful Dead moved to Rancho Olompali off of California Highway 101. They posted a sign out front stating: “No Trespassing- Violators will Be Experimented Upon.”

Vocalist David Dee of the British rock group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, was a former policeman who was at the scene of the automobile accident that took the life of American rocker Eddie Cochran and injured Gene Vincent in April 1960. Dee rescued Cochran's guitar from the wreck and held it until it could be returned, undamaged, to Cochran's family.

It’s reported that while Fleetwood Mac was recording their legendary album “Rumors” in 1977, the group snorted so much cocaine that they insisted that their dealer be credited on the LP. The dilemma was solved when the dealer was killed before the album was released.

During this same recording session, Fleetwood Mac spent four days trying to tune a piano; then wound up bringing in nine different pianos- only to decide to not even use a piano after all.

While he was living with his fiancĂ©e Linda Ann Woodrow and his song writing partner Bernie Taupin, Elton John became depressed. But Taupin and Woodrow found him before he could harm himself. However, it was only a half-hearted attempt as Taupin explains: “He had his head in the gas range oven, but he only turned the gas on to low and left the kitchen window open. He even thought to take a cushion to rest his head on.”

After recording the iconic album “Pet Sounds,” Brian Wilson decided he needed to do some redecorating. So he turned his den (where his piano was located) into a giant sandbox so he could “feel the sand under his feet” as he wrote music.

Early manufacturers of Jukeboxes never referred to them as "jukeboxes,” they called them Automatic Coin-Operated Phonographs. The term "juke" is Southern US slang for dancing.

Keith Moon of the Who was one strange fellow. After his wife Kim left the rocking drummer in 1973 she sighed, “He’ll wake up in the morning and decide to be Adolph Hitler for the day. And he is Adolph Hitler.”

The late Freddie Mercury of Queen and his friends often enjoyed feasting on marijuana-filled brownies. On one particular rowdy night, the police arrived and asked the stoned rockers to quiet down. Mercury offered the officers some brownies, which they happily ate. Recalled Mercury, “I would love to have been a fly on the windscreen of their police car after about half an hour.”

In December, 1962, The Four Season's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" reached number 23 on the Billboard singles chart. The song was originally a hit for George Hall in 1934.

Album Cover Art

Continuing our new feature, let's explore some great album cover art:

CANNIBAL CORPSE: "Evisceration Plague"

Want to see some awesome album cover art? Check out "Evisceration Plague," the new album from death metal veterans CANNIBAL CORPSE. "Evisceration Plague" is scheduled for release on February 3, 2009 via Metal Blade Records.

Commented bassist Alex Webster: "In CANNIBAL CORPSE, our goal has always been to try and make each new album we record our heaviest. That goal was a bit more challenging this time since we were extremely satisfied with our last album 'Kill', but we knew that by working with producer Erik Rutan at Mana Recording Studios again, we would be able to start at that same level of heaviness and take it even further. Now that we can hear the finished product, I would say we've been able to achieve this goal, and I think our fans will agree. 'Evisceration Plague' has the best guitar sound we've ever recorded, and the entire band has never played with more precision and power. We can't wait until you all get a chance to hear the album in early 2009, because we think you'll be as happy with it as we are."

"Evisceration Plague" will be available as a limited-edition digipack including a bonus track and bonus DVD, jewelcase CD and on limited splatter vinyl.

Music News & Notes

McCartney's Amoeba's Secret Released

(PR) On June 27, 2007, Paul McCartney and his great band shocked the music world by performing a surprise, first ever in-store concert at famed Los Angeles record shop, Amoeba Records. Four songs from this now legendary show were recorded and made available on limited edition vinyl entitled Amoeba's Secret. On January 27, 2009 this historic performance will be available exclusively in the U.S., for the first time ever on CD and digitally.

The CD is packaged in a unique edition mini-LP jacket and features four songs: "Only Mama Knows" and "That Was Me" from McCartney's Hear Music release Memory Almost Full, the obscure Wings gem "C Moon" and the Beatles classic "I Saw Her Standing There."

In December, McCartney received two 2009 Grammy Award nominations from Amoeba's Secret including Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "That Was Me" and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for "I Saw Her Standing There."

The lucky people who camped out for two days to attend this rare performance know how special that night was. Now the rest of us have a chance to experience one of popular music's true icons in such an unusual and intimate setting.


Diamond To Give

Neil Diamond has turned over the profits from his latest tour's t-shirt and souvenir sales to the victims of last summer's hurricane Ike.

He told CNN, "Hurricane Ike hit southern Texas so fiercely and has been forgotten about by the rest of the country - but these people are still in desperate straits, and are in dire need of our help. I saw what was going on. The mayor of Houston took me around, and he told me about it and introduced me to some people.

"The next day, I drove down to some of the hardest-hit areas, and I just felt that I had to do something, and I felt that maybe my audience would help me out with it."


Whiskey-A-Go-Go Ave

Mickey Dolenz (Monkees), John Densmore (Doors), Lou Adler, Jack Nicholson and Michelle Phillips (Mamas & the Papas) were among the people attending the unveiling of a street sign renaming the street outside of Whiskey-A-Go-Go after its late owner, Elmer Valentine. John Mayall and Johnny Rivers were among those who played a tribute show at the club.

[Vinyl fights on in a digital world]

Despite ease, popularity of music downloads vintage LPs maintain niche fan base

By: Elizabeth Ghiorso

A death match between vinyl and MP3 is like a standoff between Mr. Miyagi and Katy Perry. In other words, it's a fight between something awesome and something popular.

MP3s, like Katy Perry, are trendy, easy and cheap. However, for those who call themselves authentic audiophiles, nothing beats vinyl for depth and richness of sound.

The LP offers a complete experience and a culture all its own - a culture that has transcended all other music mediums and carried vinyl into the digital age.

Why are vinyl records still thriving after all this time? The answer is simple; vinyl records, like Mr. Miyagi, kick ass.

While iTunes may be shiny and hip, digital downloads don't come close to the record store experience. No degree of convenience beats the atmosphere, the crowd or the prices at the local vinyl shop. Even big record stores like Amoeba and huge, corporate mega-stores like Virgin bring music-lovers together and provide a common ground for punkers and pianists alike.

The record store is a social mecca - a place for exchange and free-expression. It's the only place where people can run their fingers along the tops of hundreds of record jackets until they find one that speaks to their situation, one that they just can't live without. iTunes is just a place to buy some music.

"When you listen to a record, you are listening to the music the way it was meant to be heard," said Johnny, the lead singer and guitarist of Chico's rockabilly/punk band The Shankers.

Johnny, who goes by the one-name moniker ala Prince, works at Melody Records, and when I walked in, he was about to sell a few LPs to Neem-I, a local DJ on KZFR who hosts the show Roots & Culture.

Neem-I was buying records for the first time because he had recently received some equipment that allowed him to spin vinyl, he said. He had been thinking about checking out some records for a long time and now he was "feelin' it."

Johnny related the difference between records and MP3s to that of driving an automatic or a stick shift.

"If you really want the experience of driving a car, you drive a stick," he said. "But if you want to pick your nose and just cruise, you drive an automatic.

Johnny also shed some light on the contrast from a musician's perspective.

"For a band, vinyl is a huge deal," he said. "Any Joe Blow can put something on CD, but it's a commitment to put something on vinyl."

The further into the vinyl community one gets, the more one realizes that vinyl records are personal to people. Each record is an individual entity and most have stories to go along with them.

"The first record I ever got - I blackmailed my sister to take me to a record store," said Brad Finney, the singer and guitarist behind Chico's acoustic punk-rock band, Nothing Left.

Vinyl ownership carries a sense of nostalgia for Finney.

"I have been collecting records since I was 14 years old," he said. "They all have stories."

Vinyl records are important to Finney because they represent his history, he said.

"I grew up in Southern California," Finney said. "I would mow lawns and make some cash and then blow it all on a bunch of 7-inches or a few LPs."

Vinyl aficionados crave not only the killer sound of the record but the full-bodied experience that comes with it. Vinyl isn't just the best way to listen to music; it's a lifestyle. Each record in a collection represents both the true intentions of the artist and the circumstances of the collector.

Searching for scratches, scouring the planet for original presses and hearing that little pop as the turntable switches sides adds to the romance of the vinyl experience.

As for the MP3 experience - there isn't one. Buying and listening to music online is commercial and soulless. Online music sources have no stoned record-store clerks, no stale incense smell, no faded album art, and no cliche political bumper stickers. MP3s are songs stripped of artistic identity and individuality; they are lost in ambiguity.

If all you want is the latest Taylor Swift single, then you may be better off with iTunes. But if you want to really hear some music, feel the depth of sound, experience the true intentions of the artist and kick ass like Mr. Miyagi, then vinyl is the way to go.

Reprinted By Permission

John Martyn (1948-2009)

U.K. singer/songwriter John Martyn passed away Thursday at the age of 60. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

The announcement came with a posting on his website:

With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning.

Martyn began his career at the age of 17, playing a mix of American blues, traditional British music and the folk music of Davey Graham. Once established, he moved to London where he became a regular at the club Cousins.

In early-1968, Martyn was the first solo white artist to be signed to the reggae-based Island Records with his first album, London Conversation, being released in February of that year. While his initial effort was very much folk, each subsequent release found him experimenting with new sounds from jazz, blues and rock.

Along with being a singer and songwriter, Martyn also was an innovator, adding new effects to his sound. His most famous, the Echoplex, allowed him to loop layers of his own guitar on top of itself, using it in both live gigs and studio settings.

In the mid-70's, Martyn would battle alcoholism and a crumbling marriage to his occasional singing partner, Beverley Kutner. The problems would take their toll as his recording career began to go downhill and his live performances were marred by inappropriate song choices for the types of crowds.

During the 80's, friend Phil Collins tried to help the singer revive his career with the critically acclaimed albums Glorious Fool and Well Kept Secret, but the public did not take much notices. By 1988, Island had dropped Martyn from their roster.

Since 1990, Martyn had continued to record, mixing in even more eclectic styles such as trip-hop and funk. While he never rebuilt his original sales success, he remained an influential artist to many British musicians.

He was also confined to a wheelchair during his final years after having a leg amputated in 2003 when a cyst burst.

Phil Collins made a statement about Martyn's passing. "John's passing is terribly, terribly sad. I had worked with and known him since the late 1970s and he was a great friend. He was uncompromising, which made him infuriating to some people, but he was unique and we'll never see the likes of him again.
"I loved him dearly and will miss him very much."

Martyn received an Order of the British Empire at this month's New Year's Honors by Queen Elizabeth and had received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC2 Radio's Folk Awards last February. Island Records celebrated his 60th birthday last September with the release of the box set, Ain't No Saint.


Belle and Sebastian Pick Cover-Art Contest Winner

Belle and Sebastian have picked their favorite stand-in cover for their latest album.

The act picked French artist Colocho's alternate cover for its limited-edition Record Store Day reissue of its The BBC Sessions.

In addition to getting a reworked cover out of Colocho without having to invest a cent, the Scottish indie band will also be able to save all kinds of mad cash printing the cover in black and white instead of having to spring for a four-color separation! That's great news in these tough economic times.

This Date In Music History-January 30


Jody Watley (1961)

Phil Collins (1951)

Martyn Balin- Jefferson Airplane (1942)

Joe Terranova- Danny and the Juniors (1941)

Chicago soul singer Jackie Ross was born in 1946.

They Are Missed:

Steve Marriott, guitarist and singer/songwriter was born in 1947. Marriott was a member of Small Faces. He died in a house fire on April 20th 1991.

Blues guitarist, singer Sam Lightnin Hopkins died in 1982 (age 70)

Producer Bob Thiele (produced Teresa Brewer-- who he also married; Buddy Holly, the McGuire Sisters, Jackie Wilson, Quincy Jones and many more) died in 1996 (age 73).

The great New Orleans pianist Professor Longhair died of a heart attack in 1980 (age 61).


Although more than half a million jukeboxes were scattered around North America in 1955, US manufacturer AMI finally introduces the pay-for-play devices in the UK. Company president John Haddock says he intends to target the ever growing coffee house market first.

KISS played their first show at the Coventry Club in Queens, NY in 1973.

Elvis Presley recorded his version of "Blue Suede Shoes" in 1956.

After spending 11 weeks on the chart Britney Spears started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1999 with “...Baby One More Time.” Britney's debut album also went to #1 on the US chart on the same day.

INXS had their first US #1 hit single in 1988 with “Need You Tonight.”

In 1969, the Beatles performed their final concert on the roof of the Apple offices in London's Saville Road. During the gig the band performed "Get Back." The set was halted after 42 minutes because an accountant at the nearby Royal Bank of Scotland complained about the noise. It had been 2½ years since the Beatles had played Candlestick Park, San Francisco, on August 29th, 1966.

In 1991, 22 years to the day that The Beatles played live on the roof of their London offices, Manchester band James played a live set on the roof of Manchester's Piccadilly radio station attracting several thousand on-lookers.

The Shirelles started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1961 with “Will You Love Me Tomorrow;” it reached #4 in the UK.

The Bee Gees began recording "Jive Talkin" in 1975, which will become their second US chart topper and their fourteenth Billboard Top 20 hit. Barry Gibb's inspiration for the song came when his wife commented on the sound their car made while crossing a bridge over Biscayne Bay into Miami. She noted, "It's our drive talkin'."

In 1982, Hall & Oates' "I Can't Go for That" hit #1 on the Billboard Pop chart and the R&B chart simultaneously, one week after hitting #1 on the Disco chart. It becomes only the fourth single by a white act to reach the top of the R&B chart since 1965. The record was also a #8 hit in the UK.

The Name Game" by Shirley Ellis, reached #3 in the US in 1965.

Bobby Goldsboro recorded "Honey" in 1968.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bruce Springsteen: Working on a Dream/Review

Bruce Springsteen: Working on a Dream 180 gram vinyl (w/ download code)

The Boss is back with a new two-record set of all-new material just in time for his halftime appearance this coming Superbowl Sunday. On the heels of his last record, the acclaimed Magic, Springsteen is back again with the E Street Band with Working on a Dream, this time with mixed results.

My Lucky Day is the kind of upbeat anthem in the tradition of Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out that could have easily been on Magic and makes you smile every time you hear it. Other highlights of the record are the epic, Outlaw Pete and the somber ballad, The Wrestler. While the rest of the material on the record is fine enough and I suspect that most fans of The Boss will enjoy it, many of the songs either aren't particularly memorable or suffer from mediocre lyrics. This is far from a bad record, it just isn't up to the higher standard realized by Magic--and is a far cry from anything from the classic period of 1975-1985.

Two 180 gram platters are packaged in a single jacket with inner sleeves containing the complete song lyrics. While sound quality varies from track to track, it is a significant step up from the uniformly compressed sound that was heard on Magic. Chris Bellman of Bernie Grundman Mastering did the vinyl mastering and although some of the faster numbers do have that squashed sound, it does not predominate the way it did on Magic. Bruce seems to be going for a Spectorian Wall-of-Sound on those tunes and more than likely, there is little a mastering engineer could do without completely changing the character of the songs.

Included with the vinyl package is a code for a 320 kbps download. Although sufficient for listening on an Ipod or in the car, the sonics are somewhat thin and pinched and don't compare favorably to the vinyl. Where the vinyl shines is on the acoustic ballads where it really captures the layers of Bruce's voice and conveys a realism missing from the digital download. While never an overwhelming audiophile experience, it appears that the vinyl will be the best way to hear this record.


Classic Rock Videos

The Beatles - Thank You Girl

Skynyrd Keyboardist Dies

Rock & Roll lost another valued member when Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell passed away on January 28. He was 56 years old.

Powell called 911 around 12:55 Wednesday morning saying that he was experiencing breathing difficulties. Rescue crews were quickly dispatched to his Orange Park, Florida residence, but Powell was pronounced dead just before 2 am.

Lynyrd Skynyrd is primarily recognized as a guitar-driven rock band, but Powell’s distinctive piano work helped to define the group's sound and Southern rock in general.

Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Powell was attending college in Florida and became a roadie for the band and performed in a group called Alice Marr.

Lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant invited Powell to join the legendary Southern rockers after hearing him play piano during a rehearsal of “Free Bird,” the rock anthem played by the band.

But, tragedy struck in 1977 in the form of a fiery plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and back up vocalist Cassie Gaines. Powell and founding guitarist Gary Rossington were the only two band members to survive the crash.

After the crash, Powell played with other bands and formed his own group, Alias, in 1979. He also teamed up with Rossington and Allen Collins and played with the Rossington-Collins Band. By the mid 80’s, Powell was playing with a contemporary Christian music group called Vision.

In the late 80’s, the surviving members reconvened and began playing a series of reunion concerts with Johnny Van Zant stepping in on lead vocals for his brother.
In recent years, Powell has continued to record and tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and in 2008 the group performed with Kid Rock and Hank Williams, Jr.

As a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Powell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Rock and roll will truly miss his inventive and fluid piano work.

Album Cover Art

I am starting a new feature about album cover art. Some I like, some I don't, some are just insane and I wanted to share them with you :O)

Atlanta underground metal kingpins Mastodon revealed the cover to fourth album Crack the Skye. The cover comes courtesy of artist Paul Romano (who has done the other Mastodon album covers).

Music News & Notes

Cover Art of Michelle Branch's New LP

An official cover art for Michelle Branch's new album "Everything Comes and Goes" has been outed. The artwork pictures the singer sporting white tank top and picking up her guitar while looking sideways with street view during the daylight on the background.

"Raphael Mazucco shot this out in the desert while we were taking photos for the album," Michelle wrote on her official website about the video. "It's amazing what you can do with a store bought hand held video camera these days. I especially like the part where "hold" is written across my chest."


Modest Mouse Tour

Indie rocker's Modest Mouse are returning to the road next month for a short 12-date U.S. tour, beginning in Oakland on Feb. 22. The tour ends on March 8th at the Langerado Festival in Miami.

The band has attained significant mainstream success since being signed to Sony's Epic Records in 2001 and have been one of the leading bands in the commercialization of indie rock, beginning with their 2004 album "Good News for People Who Love Bad News."

The band's name was derived from a passage from the Virginia Woolf story "The Mark on the Wall" which reads: "I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises."

It's reported that ex-Grandaddy guitarist Jim Fairchild will join Modest Mouse on stage in the place Johnny Marr, who will be touring with UK rock act the Cribs this spring. However, Marr remains a member of Modest Mouse, according to the band's publicist.

The opening act on the tour will be Mimicking Birds, the latest band signed to Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock's Glacial Pace label.

Here are Modest Mouse's tour dates:

Feb. 22: Oakland, Calif. (Fox Theatre)
Feb. 23: Visalia, Calif. (Fox Theatre)
Feb. 24: Los Angeles (Hollywood Palladium)
Feb. 25: Tempe, Ariz. (Marquee)
Feb. 26: Albuquerque, N.M. (Convention Center)
Feb. 28: Boulder, Colo. (Balch Fieldhouse)
March 2: Kansas City, Mo. (Uptown Theatre)
March 3: Oklahoma City (Diamond Ballroom)
March 4: Austin, Texas (Stubb's)
March 5: Oxford, Miss. (the Lyric)
March 7: Atlanta (Tabernacle)
March 8: Miami (Langerado Festival)


Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival

Heavy rockers Slayer, Marilyn Manson and Bullet For My Valentine will lead the bill for the 2nd annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, which kicks of on July 10 at the Sleep Train Amphitheater in Sacramento. The festival ends on August 18 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in San Antonio.

Jagermeister is sponsoring one of two second stages, on which Trivium, All That Remains, God Forbid and the liquor company's "battle of the bands" winner will perform. On the Hot Topic side stage, Cannibal Corpse, Job For A Cowboy, Behemoth, Black Dahlia Murder and Whitechapel will round out the bill.

Tickets for the 27-date North American shed tour go on sale April 24 via and

Last year's inaugural Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival featured Slipknot, Disturbed, Airbourne, Five Finger Death Punch, 36 Crazyfists, Machine Head, Black Tide, Suicide Silence, the Red Chord and Wall Of Jericho. The trek attracted nearly 340,000 concertgoers, according to organizers.


Another New Jay-Z Song Leaks Online

Although there's still no official release date for Jay-Z's upcoming album (which is rumored to be titled "Blueprint III"), new songs continue to be leaked onto the Internet.

"Money Goes" hit the Interent yesterday on Tuesday, becoming the seventh expected "Blueprint" track to arrive early either via the Web or radio. The leaks have continued unabated despite Def Jam's consistent message that there is no "Blueprint III" album on their release schedule.


Hot City- Alex Harvey Band Reissued

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band are releasing the 1974 album "Hot City," which never saw the light of day in its original form. The band ditched the original version of the album because they were unhappy with the work done by producer Shel Talmy. While most of the songs ended up in new versions on their next album, "The Impossible Dream," the original versions were never released until now.


Country Music Hall of Fame Fundraiser

The Country Music Hall of Fame has began a $1.1 million fundraising campaign in order to help pay the costs of four instruments that were once owned by Maybelle Carter, Johnny Cash and Bill Monroe. The instruments were awarded to the museum in a recent court case, but the decision requires that the Hall pay $750,000 by February 22, 2009.

Ricky Skaggs is taking the appeal to the fans. “Like their lifelong partners, these beloved instruments can now rest in peace. This outcome means that we, the public, remain the owners of these treasures, and it reminds us that we are fortunate to have them protected and accessible under the stewardship of one of the finest museums in the country. As owners, we have an obligation to help with these costs, and I believe fans will be honored to have the opportunity.”


Classic TESTAMENT Titles To Be Reissued On Vinyl

Two classic albums by thrash legends TESTAMENT — 1997's "Demonic" and 1999's "The Gathering" — will be reissued on gatefold double vinyl by Prosthetic Records on February 3. Each will feature etched artwork on Side D and be limited to 1,000 copies worldwide. Additionally, 100 copies of "Demonic" will feature red vinyl, while 100 copies of "The Gathering" will feature gold vinyl. Pre-orders can currently be placed at


U2 to rescue iconic recording studio?

U2 are reportedly considering buying London's Olympic Studios.

The Irish band recorded part of their forthcoming album 'No Line On The Horizon' at the historic Barnes studio, which has also been used by Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Oasis.

Olympic's current owners EMI said in December that the studios weren't making enough money to justify their existence, and put the building on the market.

Despite already having their own studio in Dublin, U2 apparently liked Olympic so much they are considering putting in an offer for it, reports The Sun.

In recent years, the studio's 'bunker' has also been a musical-home to producer Stephen Street. Street produced albums by The Courteeners and Kaiser Chiefs there, as well as Pete Doherty's upcoming solo album 'Grace/Wastelands'.


Ole Blue Eyes Is Back

The new Frank Sinatra compilation, Seduction: Sinatra Sings of Love, debuts this week at 23 on the album charts on sales of 17,000.

Overall, sales for the week were at 6.43 million units, down 12% from the same week last year.

Rock & Roll Tidbits

Although there is some debate among collectors about what was the last commercially released 8-track tape by a major label, many agree it was "Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits" in November 1988. There are reports of bootleg 8-track tapes being produced in Mexico as late as 1995 and some independent artists have released 8-track tapes as late as 2006.

Courtney Love has had her share of troubles. In fact, while appearing at a Seattle benefit dedicated to stopping violence against women, Love got into a fight, slapping a woman and wrestling with her on the floor.

Paul McCartney wrote the song "Lovely Rita, Meter Maid" for the album "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" after getting a parking ticket from a female warden in Abbey Road.

After seeing the 1978 movie, The Buddy Holly Story, Crickets drummer Jerry Allison said he thought it "was a horrible movie." He went on to say "the only thing I saw about it that was real was they spelled Buddy's name right."

The all-time most nominated Grammy artist is Quincy Jones with 77 nominations.

Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols proclaimed, “I wanna be like Iggy Pop and die before I’m thirty.” When a friend explained to him that Iggy Pop was indeed alive, Vicious was dumbfounded.

Iwao Takamoto, the animator who created the cartoon dog Scooby-Doo, said that he got the inspiration to name his character from the closing scat to Frank Sinatra's "Strangers In The Night.” (Dooby-dooby-doo...)

Joe Perry of Aerosmith fame had been partying for more than twenty years before getting sober. When asked how he felt, he replied, “A little hung over.”

When the Righteous Brothers single "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" was reviewed on the British TV show Juke Box Jury in January, 1965, it was voted a "miss" by all four judges. Since that time, it has become US radio's most played rock and roll song of all time, being heard over eight million times.

Paul Anka's first 45 sold just 300 copies. The follow-up, "Diana,” sold nine million.

While he was with Van Halen, David Lee Roth spent tens of thousands of dollars designing enormous inflatable statues of the devil that was able to ‘pee’ Jack Daniels a distance of fifteen feet out into the audience. It became an expensive gimmick, so he filled the statues with cheap bourbon in order to save money.

Three Dog Night's 1971 smash, "Joy To The World" was written by Hoyt Axton especially for an animated children's show called "The Happy Song" that never made it to production.

The Allman Brothers were never fond of ‘picture time.’ In fact, when one particular photographer tried to take a photo for the group’s 1971 album cover, “The Allman Brothers Band at Filmore East,” all the band members could do was scowl and glare. But when a friend of Duane’s stopped by with a bag of coke, the band was all smiles. In-the-know fans of the group enjoy pointing out that Duane was hiding dope in his hands on the album cover.

The song "Bye, Bye Love" had been turned down by 30 other artists before The Everly Brothers recorded it. It became their first big hit, rising to number 2 in the US in 1957.

After recording a number of demo songs on January 1st, 1962, The Beatles received a rejection letter from the Decca Recording Company that said "We don't like their sound and guitar music is on the way out."

Although The Ed Sullivan Show was the first TV program in America to host the Beatles, it was not their first US TV appearance. On December 7, 1963, The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite featured footage of Beatles fans at a concert. The Beatles' first US television appearance was on The Jack Parr Show on January 4th, 1964 when Parr showed a film of the band playing "She Loves You.” Before showing the performance, one of Parr's comments was "I understand science is working on a cure for this."

"The Twist" by Chubby Checker is the only song to climb to number one on Billboard's Hot 100 in two separate chart runs. The first was in September, 1960 and the second in January, 1962. The hit version is take number three in a 35 minute recording session.

While performing the song “Lithium” at the 1992 MTV Music Awards, Nirvana bass player Chris Novoselic threw his guitar up into the air. It came down hitting smack in the head, knocking him silly. Band leader Kurt Cobain, who had not seen the mishap screamed at Novoselic for losing the beat.

The only US number one single to be re-recorded by the same artist and become a Top Ten hit all over again is "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" by Neil Sedaka. The original, up-tempo version topped the Billboard chart in 1962, while a ballad rendition reached number 8 in 1975. Other songs have made a second appearance on Billboard's Hot 100, but it was the original version that came back.

Drummer John Peterson played for The Beau Brummels on their 1965 hits "Laugh Laugh" and "Just A Little" before leaving in 1966 to join Harpers Bizarre in time to record their 1967 hit "Feelin' Groovy.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

The Beatles - I Should Have Known Better

Vinyl Collective Update

This from my vinyl friend, Virgil Dickerson over at

AUSTIN LUCAS “Somebody Loves You” LP gold vinyl

AUSTIN LUCAS “Somebody Loves You”
LP red/black half and half vinyl

AUSTIN LUCAS “Somebody Loves You”CD

AUSTIN LUCAS “Somebody Loves You” DELUXE SET w/ CD, LP, T-shirt, button, coozie, poster, and pint glass

AUSTIN LUCAS "Somebody Loves You" LP/CD/Deluxe Set

Today, we are proud as shit to announce the pre-order for Austin Lucas’ new album on Suburban Home, “Somebody Loves You”. I can hardly believe the circumstances that made this happen. It started with me listening to “Putting the Hammer Down” and “Bristle Ridge” and just loving what I heard so much, I decided to write Austin and ask if he would be interested in putting out an Under the Influence 7?. Much later after Austin had moved back to the states and while talking to Mike Hale, Mike had mentioned that Austin was bummed that I hadn’t written him back, something I didn’t realize had happened. I got his number from Mike, called up Austin and somehow, some way, we discussed the possibility of us working together.

After it was agreed that we would put out his next album, we had him fly out to Denver for our 13th Anniversary weekend. We had an absolute blast hanging out with Austin, hearing his stories, and watching him perform live. We again hung out with him when the Revival Tour came through Colorado and yet again when we went down to Gainesville for the Fest.

Austin spent the better part of December recording with his family at his father’s studio (the same studio that created “Bristle Ridge”). The 11 song album is absolutely amazing, one of the greatest albums we have been lucky enough to release; an album that I am sure will help Austin Lucas to find a ton of new fans.

Enough of me jawing on. This album is brilliant, it is beautiful, and it is absolutely powerful (in ways that you wouldn’t expect).

We just posted a 2nd song on our site, “Precious Little Heart” which you can listen to in our streaming playing on our Release page. You can also download the title track “Somebody Loves You” from our site and listen to a few other tracks on Austin’s Myspace page.

Listen to the songs and make sure you pre-order a copy. We have set up a pre-order for the CD, the vinyl, and a handful of deluxe sets which contain a copy of the CD and a copy of the LP, a T-shirt, a button, a poster, a coozie, and a pint glass. The vinyl pressing is out of an edition of 1,500 copies (500 on Gold, 1,000 on Red/Black half and half co-released with Hometown Caravan in Germany).

Make sure you see Austin when he plays with Joey Cape and Jon Snodgrass in the Northwest and then with Tim Barry and Josh Small on a tour that will take him throughout most of the United States.


Vinyl Collective and Red Scare to partner on vinyl releases

I am excited to announce that after a number of discussions, we have reached an agreement with our friends at Red Scare to become their vinyl partner. What exactly does that mean? Well, we are planning to license and release your favorite Red Scare titles on vinyl. We have been a big fan of Red Scare for quite some time and are glad to be able to work more closely with them. We think that they are pretty much the best punk rock label on the planet and we think that the world will be a better place with more Red Scare vinyl.

We will begin by releasing the following 4 releases:

Cobra Skulls “Sitting Army”
The Copyrights “Learn the Hard Way”
The Druglords of the Avenues “Sing Songs”
The Sidekicks “So Long, Soggy Dog”

After those 4 releases, we will be working with Red Scare to release another batch of records and don’t be surprised if Sundowner is in that next batch. Let us know what else you would like to see come out on vinyl from Redscare.

I am so excited about this. I love this label and have always asked myself why more of their catalog wasn’t on wax. Be stoked, this is going to be great. We are already working on the Cobra Skulls and Copyrights art and should have those being pressed soon.

In other news:

Pick Up The New Boss LP
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN “Working On A Dream” dbl LP

Restocks: Gaslight Anthem,Flogging Molly,Gogol Bordellow

Restocks: Dr. Dog,Dag Nasty,One Last Wish,Q and Not U

Rock & Roll Tidbits

During the 1989 invasion of Panama, it is reported that U.S troops blasted AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” at top volume to try and drive Manuel Noriega out of the Vatican Embassy. After he heard that their music was being used as psychological torture, Brian Johnson wryly said, “I guess now we won’t get to play for the pope.”

While still a struggling young musician, Billy Joel recorded a pretzel commercial with Chubby Checker.

In October, 1963, when New York disc jockey Murray “the K” Kaufman played five records for his audience to vote on, The Beatles’ “She Loves You” came in third, behind a Four Seasons single and something called “Coney Island Baby” by The Excellents.

Iggy Pop of the Stooges was famous for his on-stage antics. After playing a concert in New York, he actually ran out of things to do onstage, so he pulled out his pecker. “I didn’t know what to do with it,” he explained. “So I zipped it back up and walked off.” Also, while in New York, he met David Bowie. After a long night of partying he declared: “The only good rock was a dead rocker,” and promptly smashed a beer bottle over his head and passed out.

Upon meeting the band Pink Floyd for the first time, a record company executive asked them "Which one's Pink?"

Terry Jacks recorded his 1974 number one hit, "Seasons In The Sun" in 1973, but the master tape sat on a shelf in his basement for more than a year. One day, a newspaper delivery boy heard Terry playing it and asked if he could bring some friends by to listen to it. Their enthusiasm convinced Jacks to release it on his own label and it soon topped the record charts in the US, Canada, and the UK and sold over six million copies worldwide.

It’s well known that Elvis loved animals. Why he even owned a pet chimpanzee that he named Scatter. Presley taught the primate to drink bourbon and pinch women’s behinds. For a while, the pampered chimp ate at the dinner table with a knife and fork. Why, he was even chauffeured around in a Rolls-Royce. But all good things must come to an end, as Scatter became nasty and was banished to his cage. The poor chimp finally died from cirrhosis of the liver.

In 1959, Tommy Dee reached #11 on the Billboard chart with a record called "Three Stars,” a tune dedicated to the memory or Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper. The song was meant for Eddie Cochran, but he was unable to complete the recording because of the overwhelming sadness caused by the death of his friends.

After enjoying a hit with "Red Rubber Ball,” Tom Dawes of The Cyrkle wrote the famous "plop plop fizz fizz" jingle for Alka-Seltzer.

On September 7, 1976, Eric Clapton wrote his hit song "Wonderful Tonight" for his wife, the former Pattie Boyd Harrison, while waiting for her to get ready to go out to Paul and Linda McCartney's annual Buddy Holly party.

The Osmond Brothers, Allan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, and Donny had their first number one hit in the US in February 1971 with "One Bad Apple.” What most fans don't know is that there are two older brothers, Virl and Tommy, who have both suffered so much hearing loss that the entire family learned how to converse in sign language.

While dining at a London restaurant, Mick Jagger was confronted by a gentleman seated at a nearby table. “Are you a man or a woman? The puzzled eater inquired. Jagger stood up, unzipped his pants, and presented the evidence.

Disc Jockey Rick Dees, the morning man at WMPS in Memphis, recorded a novelty disco song called "Disco Duck" in 1976. After it became a US number one hit, he was forbidden to play the record on his radio show. He simply mentioned the record on the air one day and was promptly fired by the station's manager, who cited him for conflict of interest.

The only Mother and son to both have a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 are Shirley Jones, who sang on the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You" in November, 1970 and her son Shaun Cassidy for "Da Do Ron Ron" in July 1977.

Glen Campbell, the country star who had a string of hits that crossed over to the pop charts in the late sixties and seventies, began his career as a highly regarded session musician, playing on hits by the Monkees, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, the Association, the Mamas & the Papas, Rick Nelson, the Beach Boys and many others. In 1969, he sold more records than the Beatles and began a three year run hosting his own TV variety series. Despite all of his musical success, he can neither read nor write music.

Depeche Mode took their name from a French magazine that vocalist David Gahan was reading. It means, “fast fashion.” But French detractors of the band liked to call the English rockers “Depede Mode,” which translated means “dirty pedophiles.”

In April 1909 Charles David Herrold, an electronics instructor in San Jose, California, constructed an early radio station. He coined the terms "narrowcasting" and "broadcasting" respectively to identify transmissions destined for a single receiver such as that on board a ship, and those transmissions destined for a general audience.

Early Genesis Returns to Vinyl

Rhino Presents Boxed Set Containing 180-Gram, Audiophile Vinyl Versions of Five Acclaimed Genesis Albums Recorded Between 1970-1975 with Singer Peter Gabriel Five-Album Boxed Set Will Be Available April 14 from Rhino

LOS ANGELES — After upgrading the Genesis catalog of studio albums with a trio of comprehensive boxed sets, Rhino brings the band’s early years back to their vinyl origins with GENESIS 1970-1975, a boxed set that contains five albums with lead singer Peter Gabriel. The collection, on 180-gram vinyl, will be available April 14 from regular retail outlets, and for a suggested list price of $149.98.

Each reissued album contains new stereo mixes done by Nick Davis. They are presented in heavyweight gatefold sleeves that feature the original covers, faithfully reproduced from their original sources. All of the albums are collected in a protective slipcase.

One of the top-selling recording artists of all time, Genesis has sold more than 150 million albums so far. This five-album set collects some of the band’s most adventurous and ground-breaking records, covering Gabriel’s tenure with the group.

Genesis 1970-1975 spotlights five albums–Trespass, Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England By the Pound and the double LP set, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

Featuring favorites like “The Knife" and “White Mountain," Genesis' second album, Trespass (1970), marked the beginning of a five-year journey that saw the band create ever-more daring albums of progressive rock. The album includes guitarist Anthony Phillips and drummer John Mayhew, who were replaced on the following album by Steve Hackett and Phil Collins respectively.

Nursery Cryme (1971) opens with “The Musical Box," a beautiful 10-minute sprawl that captures the essence of the band's sophisticated musicality tweaked with freewheeling theatrics. Genesis' new lineup starts to define its unique voice on songs like “The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" and “The Fountain Of Salmacis."

The band returned the following year with Foxtrot (1972), a breakthrough album hailed by critics and embraced by fans, especially in England where it reached #12. Two tracks in particular – “Watcher Of The Skies" and “Supper's Ready" – became live staples for years to come. Nearly filling the album's second half, “Supper's Ready" stands as an avant-garde showcase for each member's individual talents.

Genesis' popularity continued to grow with its fifth studio album, Selling England By the Pound (1973). These eight songs find the band's inventive storytelling and imaginative arrangements coming into sharper focus with “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" – Genesis' first hit single in the U.K. The album also introduced audiences to “The Cinema Show" and “Firth Of Fifth," songs that would become popular concert staples.

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974) is a double album about a Puerto Rican hood searching for his brother. It was to be Gabriel's final release with Genesis. The band toured for the album, performing the entire 90-minute album along with an ambitious stage show complete with costume changes, theatrical lighting, and pyrotechnics. The title track, “Carpet Crawlers" and “In The Cage" remain popular parts of the band's live show.

Music News & Notes

No New Wife For Sir Paul

Paul McCartney will be on tomorrow's (Thursday) edition of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

McCartney's publicist, Paul Freundlich, has also come out and stated that there is no truth to the reports of impending nuptials for the singer and Nancy Shevell. Her divorce, which was reported as being finalized in early December, is also in question as the tabloids who originally reported on the story, have not cited a legal source.


James Brown-Wesley Snipes Bio May Have To Wait

Film director Spike Lee told MTV News that he is still looking to make a bio-pic of James Brown starring Wesley Snipes. When it will be made, though, is still up in the air as Snipes faces a three-year prison sentence for tax evasion. Lee says that he will be using the original Brown vocal performances for the film.


Dancin' Donny

Donny Osmond let it slip on the Bonnie Hunt Show that he may be a contestant on the upcoming edition of Dancing With the Stars. His sister, Marie, performed on the show last year and came in third.

Osmond taunted, "I can't let my sister upstage me. Besides, who do you think taught her how to dance?"


New Pumpkins Song

A new Smashing Pumpkins song, “FOL,” will debut during the Super Bowl as the soundtrack for a Hyundai commercial. The 30-second ad will premiere in the commercial block right before the kick-off this Sunday, February 1st.


Clarkson Sets Record

Kelly Clarkson will make history on this week's Billboard Hot 100, to be posted tomorrow (Jan. 29) on, with the largest leap to #1 in the chart's 50-year history.

Her new single, "My Life Would Suck Without You," is set to rocket 97-1 after selling 280,000 digital downloads in its first week of availability. The song is also faring well at radio, jumping 58-38 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart and 27-18 on the Mainstream Top 40 list.

This is the second time the artist has set the record for largest jump to #1. She took her "American Idol" victory song, "A Moment Like This," 52-1 on the chart dated October 5, 2002.

That mark lasted nearly five years until Maroon 5 soared 64-1 with "Makes Me Wonder" in May 2007 and had been broken four more times since, most recently by Britney Spears' "Womanizer" (96-1).

This Date In Music History- January 28


Joey Fatone-'N Sync (1977)

Nick Carter- Backstreet Boys (1980)

Sara McLachlan (1968)

DJ Muggs- Cypress Hill (1968)

Dave Sharp-The Alarm (1959)

Mr. Acker Bilk turns 80.

Also born in 1943, guitarist Dick Taylor. As well as playing with some early incarnations of the Rolling Stones, he also led one of Britain's great '60s rock acts, The Pretty Things.

Drum Roll Please!

Drummer Brian Keenan- Chambers Brothers (1944)

Marty Fried, drummer with the '60s pop group the Cyrkle ("Red Rubber Ball") (1944)

Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt 1945)

Corky Laing- drummer for Mountain (1948)

Drummer Eddie Bayers, who has played with Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band (1949)

They Are Missed:

Chris Kenner ("Land Of 1000 Dances") died of a heart attack in 1976.

Billy Fury, the British rock-a-billy artist who scored a major hit in Great Britain in 1961 with "Halfway To Paradise,” died in 1983 from heart and kidney problems at the age of 42. Fury was a major star in his homeland, but couldn't catch the break he needed to become a part of the British Invasion.

Legendary Rock drummer and Hall of Fame inductee Jim Capaldi died in 2005 after a brief fight with stomach cancer. He was 61. Jim is most often remembered as a member of Traffic, with Steve Winwood and Dave Mason.

Sax player Thomas 'Beans' Bowles died of prostate cancer in 2000. Played on many Motown sessions including Marvin Gaye's, 'What's Going On' and The Supremes 'Baby Love'.


In 1963, the Rolling Stones recorded five tracks with producer Glyn Johns in their efforts to interest a label.

The Cavern Club in Liverpool closed in 1966.

The Who appeared on the British TV show Ready Steady Go! for the first time in 1965. An enthusiastic response for their performance of "I Can't Explain" was assured, as managers Kit Lambert and Pete Stamp had packed the audience with their hardcore mod following.

In 1978, Ted Nugent carved an autograph with a knife on a fan's arm (at the fan's request).

Debuting on the Chicago-based Chess label in 1954, the Moonglows released "Sincerely," which was the biggest hit of their career. It topped the R&B chart and made the Top Twenty on the pop chart.

Johnny Cash signed contract with Sun Records in 1955.

In 1997, Pat Boone released an album of Heavy Metal tunes called "In A Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy", a tongue-in-cheek collection of tunes like "Smoke on the Water" and "Stairway to Heaven". When the religious community failed to get the joke, he was dismissed from his Trinity Broadcasting Network program, Gospel America.

In 1956, Elvis Presley made the first of four appearances on the weekly TV program Stage Show, where he performed "Shake Rattle And Roll", "Flip Flop and Fly" and "I Got A Woman". Actor Jackie Gleason predicted that he wouldn't last, but after the initial show, his contract was extended to a total of six.

In 1983, Radio station WDHA, 105.5 in New Jersey claimed to be the first US station to play music from a compact disc.

In 1985, forty-six major American recording artists came together at A&M Studios in Hollywood, to record "We Are The World", a song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie. The effort was part of an album called "USA for Africa" and featured Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Kenny Rogers, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Steve Perry and others. Those attending the session were asked to "leave your egos at the door."

Paul Abdul started a 10-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1990 with “Forever Your Girl.” Abdul spent sixty-four consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 before hitting number one, making it the longest time for an album to reach the number one spot. Who needs American Idol….

The Fleetwood Mac album “Rumours” went to #1 on the UK album chart in 1978, also #1 in the US. The album went on to sell over 15 million copies world-wide and spent over 440 weeks on the UK chart.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Day The Music Died

The day is immortalized in the legendary Don McLean song “American Pie.” It was a day that saddened music lovers all over the world and shocked the music industry. It was the day the music died.

We are of course referring to the plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa, that claimed the lives of rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. The crash, which occurred on February 3, 1959, is now fifty years old. Let’s explore some of the details of “the day the music died.”

The Winter Dance Party began at the Eagles Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 23, 1959. It featured the aforementioned stars, Dion Deuce as well as an aspiring teen idol named Frankie Sardou. The tour was set to cover twenty-four Midwestern cities in a span of three weeks. The tour was a logistical nightmare with the amount of travel that was required. Adding to this problem was a tour bus that was ill-equipped to deal with the weather conditions in that part of the country; its heating system broke down shortly after the tour began. In fact, one musician, drummer Carl Bunch, developed a severe case of frostbite to his feet that required hospitalization (Holly and Valens took turns on the drums). It got so cold on the bus that the musicians started burning newspapers in the aisle in a desperate attempt to keep warm.

What’s interesting is that the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake was not intended to be a stop on the tour, but the promoters, hoping to fill an open date, contacted the manager of the establishment and offered him the show. He accepted and the date was set for February 2nd.

However, Holly was so frustrated and tired of the malfunctioning tour bus that he told his fellow musicians that, once the show was over, they should attempt to charter a plane to get to the next stop on the tour; which was Moorhead, Minnesota. So flight arrangements were made with Roger Peterson, who was a local pilot employed at Dwyer Flying Service, based in Mason City, Iowa. The fee was $36 per passenger and the single-engine plane could seat three musicians in addition to the pilot.

But there was a dilemma, who would fly and who would get to the next destination via the tour bus? Obviously, Holly and the pilot were aboard which left two seats open. Dion was approached to buy a seat, but he thought that the price of $36 was way too much. He recalled his parents arguing about the rent, which coincidently was $36 per month and he could not bring himself to pay an entire month’s rent for a short plane ride.

J.P. Richardson had come down with a bout of the flu and asked one of Holly’s band mates, Waylon Jennings, for his seat on the plane and Jennings gave up his seat. Ritchie Valens, who was also feeling the effects of the freezing tour bus, asked Holly’s other band mate Tommy All sup for his seat. Allsup replied that he would flip a coin, with the winner getting the last seat on the plane. Now, contrary to what has been depicted in the biographical movies, the coin toss was not done by Holly; nor did it occur at the airport. The coin toss occurred at the Ballroom shortly before they departed for the airport and was actually done by a DJ who was working the concert that night.

The plane took off at 1 a.m. on February 3, 1959 from Mason City Municipal Airport. Approximately 1:05 a.m., Jerry Dwyer, owner of Dwyer Flying Service could see the lights of the plane start to descend from the sky to the ground. The pilot was supposed to file his flight plan once airborne, but he never contacted the tower. By 3:30 a.m., after multiple attempts to contact his pilot and the fact that the airport in Fargo, Minnesota had not heard from Peterson, Dwyer contacted the authorities to report the plane missing.

The doomed aircraft had just made it a few miles from the airport. The pilot (who was not certified to fly at night) may have been confused by the darkness and the light snow that was falling. The plane hit the ground nose first at an estimated 150mph killing all four men instantly.

50 Winters Later Concert Set for Clear Lake, Iowa

On February 2, 1959, the three stars played their last show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. Later, they boarded a plane for North Dakota which crashed shortly after takeoff. While not an event for celebration, it is one that is traditionally recognized as a turning point in rock music history.

That same Surf Ballroom and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have joined together to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Winter Dance Party with a week long series of events starting on Wednesday, January 28 and ending with a major tribute concert on Monday, February 2. During the week, there will be educational programs, symposiums and a record and memorabilia show, but the real events happen in the evening with nightly concerts from some early pioneers of rock music.

"50 Winters Later is about the music and the legacy of Buddy, Ritchie, and The Bopper. The artists who will participate in the week's events will pay homage to these three stars that influenced music so deeply that musicians and songwriters continue to this day to be inspired and attribute aspects of their musical careers to them. It's going to be an extraordinary show - to be in the Surf where these pioneers played live decades ago is magical in itself," stated Shane Cooney, entertainment director for the Surf Ballroom.

"For one week we will focus on the extraordinary lives and legacies of three men who forever left their mark on rock and roll history and American society," said Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. "It will be a poignant and memorable experience honoring this pivotal watershed cultural event."
Here are the lineups for each of the shows:

Wednesday, January 28 (Sock Hop)
Jason D. Williams
The Original Founding Members of the Whitesidewalls

Thursday, January 29
The Comets
Johnny Tillotson
The Tymes
Dodie Stevens
Tommy Allsup & Johnny Rodgers
David Sommerville of the Diamonds (Host)

Friday, January 30
John Mueller, Ray Anthony & the Bopper, Jr.
Sting Ray & the Killer Vees

Saturday, January 31
Bobby Vee
The Crickets
Johnny Preston
Chris Montez

Monday, February 2
Tommy Allsup
Big Bopper, Jr.
The Crickets
Pat Dinnizio of the Smithereens
Joe Ely
Wanda Jackson
Los Lobos
Los Lonely Boys
Cousin Brucie Morrow
Graham Nash
Peter & Gordon
Sir Tim Rice
Bobby Vee


In 1976, when the first Buddy Holly Week was held, Paul McCartney was presented with the cuff links Buddy Holly wore the night of the crash. McCartney purchased the rights to Holly’s song publishing and began organizing the annual celebration five years later.

On February 29, 1980, an old police file containing Buddy Holly’s horn rimmed glasses and a watch owned by J. P. Richardson were located by the Mason City Sheriff. The items were recovered at the crash site.

In the 2000 film Almost Famous, the band's plane is caught in bad weather, at which point one of the band members begins to sing the Buddy Holly song "Peggy Sue.”

Deciding that the show must go on at the next stop, Moorhead, MN, they looked for local talent to fill in. Just across the state line from Moorhead, in Fargo ND, they found a 15 year old talent named Bobby Vee.

The crash that ended the lives of Holly, Valens, and Richardson was the break that began the career of Vee.

Tommy Allsup would one day open a club named "The Head's Up Saloon," a tribute to the coin toss that saved his life.

Waylon Jennings would become a hugely popular Country singer.

Dion DiMucci would enjoy a long lived solo career.

Ritchie Valens:

Inscribed on Ritchie Valens' grave are the words, "Come On, Let's Go."

Valens was a pioneer of Chicano rock, Latin rock and was an inspiration to many musicians of Latino heritage. He influenced the likes of Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, and Carlos Santana among countless others at a time when there were very few Latinos in American rock and pop music. He is considered the first Latino to ever successfully cross over into Rock mainstream.

"La Bamba" would prove to be his most influential recording; not only by becoming a pop chart hit sung entirely in Spanish but also because of its successful blending of traditional Latin American music with rock. He was a pioneer and was an inspiration for many after his tragic death. Valens was the first to capitalize on this formula which would later be adopted by such varied artists as Selena, Caifanes, Cafe Tacuba, Circo, El Gran Silencio, Aterciopelados, Gustavo Santaolalla, and many others in the Latin Alternative scene. Ironically, the Valenzuela family spoke only English at home, and Ritchie knew very little Spanish. Ritchie learned the lyrics of "La Bamba" phonetically in order to record the song in Spanish.

"Come on Let's Go" has been covered by Los Lobos, The Ramones and "The Paley Brothers”; (jointly, The Ramones on guitar, bass, and drums and The Paley Brothers on vocals), Tommy Steele, The Huntingtons and The McCoys.

"Donna" has been covered by artists as diverse as MxPx, Cliff Richard, The Youngbloods, Clem Snide, Cappadonna, and The Misfits among many others.

Robert Quine has cited Valens' guitar playing as an early influence on his style.

Donna Ludwig, Ritchie's girlfriend, is today still recognized as "Ritchie's Donna.” Her personalized license plate reads "ODONNA.”

Ritchie's nephew, Ernie Valens, has toured worldwide playing his uncle's songs, including a new version of the "Winter Dance Party" tour with Buddy Holly impersonator John Mueller. This tour has taken place at many of the original 1959 venues in the Midwest.

Valens also appeared in biopic films. Valens was depicted in the 1987 biopic film La Bamba, which was about his life. The film's time period was from 1957 to 1959, in which his age was 16 to 17. It introduced Lou Diamond Phillips as Valens and co-starred Esai Morales as his older half-brother, Bob Morales. Los Lobos performed most of the music in the film.

Valens was portrayed by Gilbert Melgar in the final scene of The Buddy Holly Story and Valens will also be depicted in the upcoming 2009 film The Day the Music Died. Valens will be portrayed by Joseph Thornhillas in the 2009 film Lives and Deaths of the Poet.

Big Bopper:

Richardson's son, Jay Richardson, took up a musical career and is known professionally as "The Big Bopper, Jr." He has performed all around the world.

Notably, he has toured on the "Winter Dance Party" tour with Buddy Holly impersonator John Mueller on some of the same stages as his father performed.

In January 2007, Richardson's son Jay requested that his father's body be exhumed and an autopsy be performed to settle the rumors that a gun was fired or that Richardson initially survived the crash. The autopsy was performed by Dr. Bill Bass, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Jay was present with Dr. Bass throughout the entire autopsy and observed as the casket was opened; both men were surprised to find the remains well enough preserved to be recognizable as those of the late rock star. "Dad still amazes me 48 years after his death, that he was in remarkable shape," Richardson told the Associated Press. "I surprised myself. I handled it better than I thought I would."

Dr. Bass' findings indicated there were no signs of foul play. He was quoted as saying "There are fractures from head to toe. Massive fractures. ... (Richardson) died immediately. He didn't crawl away. He didn't walk away from the plane."

After the autopsy, Richardson's body was placed in a new casket made by the same company as the original, then was reburied next to his wife in Beaumont's Forest Lawn Cemetery. Jay then allowed the old casket to be put on display at the Texas Musician's Museum.

Buddy Holly:

Contrary to popular belief, teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney did not attend a Holly concert, although they watched his TV appearance on "Sunday Night at the London Palladium"; Tony Bramwell, a school friend of McCartney and George Harrison, did. Keith Richards attended one of the gigs, where he heard "Not Fade Away" for the first time. Bramwell met Holly, and freely shared his records with all three. Lennon and McCartney later cited Holly as a primary influence. (Their band's name, The Beatles, was chosen partly in homage to Holly's Crickets.) The Beatles did a cover version of "Words of Love" that was a close reproduction of Holly's version.

McCartney owns the publishing rights to Holly's song catalogue.

A young Bob Dylan attended the January 31, 1959 show, two nights before Holly's death. Dylan referred to this in his 1998 Grammy acceptance speech for his 1997 Time out of Mind winning Album of the Year.

Various rock and roll histories have asserted that the singing group The Hollies were named in homage to Buddy Holly. According to the band's website, although the group admired Holly (and years later produced an album covering some of his songs), their name was inspired primarily by the sprigs of holly in evidence around Christmas of 1962.

After the death of Buddy he would leave a trail of followers from Bob Dylan, to Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, and The Beatles. Also, one of The Rolling Stones early hits was a cover of "Not Fade Away.”

Eddie Cochran, good friend and fellow rock 'n' roll pioneer was so distraught by the deaths of Holly, Valens, and The Big Bopper that he recorded the song "Three Stars" as a tribute. The song was not released until after Cochran's own premature death, because he was too upset to allow it to be issued in his lifetime.

The Smithereens' song "Maria Elena" is a Buddy Holly tribute as sung to his widow.

Blink-182 has a song named "Peggy Sue" which is a tribute to Holly.

Phil Ochs famously sang a long tribute to Buddy Holly on the infamous Gunfight at Carnegie Hall album.

Mike Berry released a 1961 single called "Tribute to Buddy Holly.” It was written by Geoff Goddard and produced by Joe Meek, who was a great Buddy Holly fan. In the USA, it was released on Coral, Buddy Holly's label.

Weezer's self-titled debut album features the band's popular single "Buddy Holly.”

Musician Albert Hammond, Jr. has a cover of "Well... Alright" on his 2007 album Yours To Keep.

Don McLean's popular 1971 ballad "American Pie" is inspired by the day of the plane crash. He has also covered "Everyday.”

Buddy Holly Monument

(What the song is talkin' about!)
By Rich Kulawiec

The entire song is a tribute to Buddy Holly and a commentary on how rock and roll changed in the years since his death. McLean seems to be lamenting the lack of "danceable" music in rock and roll and (in part) attributing that lack to the absence of Buddy Holly et. al. (Verse 1)

A long, long time ago...

"American Pie" reached #1 in the US in 1972, but the album containing it was released in 1971. Buddy Holly died in 1959.

I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance,
That I could make those people dance,
And maybe they'd be happy for a while

One of early rock and roll's functions was to provide dance music for various social events. McLean recalls his desire to become a musician playing that sort of music.

But February made me shiver,

Buddy Holly died on February 3, 1959 in a plane crash in Iowa during a snowstorm. The news came to most of the world on the morning of February 3, which is why it's known as The Day The Music Died.

With every paper I'd deliver,

Don McLean's only job besides being a full-time singer-songwriter was being a paperboy.

Bad news on the doorstep...
I couldn't take one more step.
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride

Holly's recent bride, Maria Elena, was pregnant when the crash took place; she had a miscarriage shortly afterward.

But something touched me deep inside,
The day the music died.

The same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly also took the lives of Richie Valens ("La Bamba") and The Big Bopper ("Chantilly Lace"). Since all three were so prominent at the time, February 3, 1959 became known as "The Day The Music dies”.

So... (Refrain)
Bye bye Miss American Pie,

Miss American Pie *is* rock and roll music. Don McLean dated a Miss America candidate during the pageant. (unconfirmed)

Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singing "This'll be the day that I die,
This'll be the day that I die."

One of Holly's hits was "That'll be the Day"; the chorus contains the line "That'll be the day that I die"

Your Vinyl Destination

Here are a few record prices for these three legends. As always, the prices are obtained from Jerry Osborne’s “Rockin Records” Price guides (for your own record price guide, visit Jerry at

Buddy Holly

Singles: 78 rpm

CORAL (61852 "Words of Love") $400-500 1957
CORAL (61885 "Peggy Sue") $400-600 1957
CORAL (62006 "Early in the Morning") $600-800 1958
CORAL (62051 "Heartbeat") $600-800 1958
DECCA (30166 "Modern Don Juan") $500-600 1956
DECCA (30434 "That'll Be theDay") $500-600 1957
DECCA (30543 "Love Me") $500-600 1958
DECCA (30650 "Ting-A-Ling") $500-600 1958
Promotional LPs
DECCA (8707 "That'll Be the Day") $1000-1500 1958
(Pink label.)

LPs: 10/12–inch

BRUNSWICK (54038 "The Chirping Crickets") $800-1200 1957

Ritchie Valens

Singles: 78 rpm

APEX (76402 "Donna") $100-200 1958
APEX (76472 "That's My Little Susie") $200-300 1959

LPs: 10/12–inch

DEL-FI (1206 "Ritchie") $300-400 1959
DEL-FI (1214 "Ritchie Valens in Concert at Pacoima Jr. High") $300-400 1961

Big Bopper

Singles: 7–inch

D (1008 "Chantilly Lace") $150-200 1958

LPs: 10/12–inch

MERCURY (20402 "Chantilly Lace") $250-300 1959
(Black label.)
MERCURY (20402 "Chantilly Lace") $550-650 1959
(White or pink label. Promotional issue only.)
MERCURY (20402 "Chantilly Lace") $75-100 1964
(Red label.)

Author Robert Benson writes about rock/pop music, vinyl record collecting and operates, where you can pick up a copy of his FREE ebook called "The Fascinating Hobby Of Vinyl Record Collecting." You can also have your vinyl records appraised at