The Wilson sisters grew up in a very mobile and musical household. Daughters of a career Marine, Ann and Nancy lived in the Far East and Central America before the family settled in Washington state. Their father's ranging musical tastes meant the Wilson home was frequently filled with classical, opera, showtunes, jazz and rock. Ann overcame a childhood stutter with the help of music and went on to become one of the most powerful front women in music with Heart.
It was Rock & Bowl on the Jersey shore Monday night (6/18) when Bruce Springsteen joined the Tangiers Blues Band on four songs at the re-opening of Asbury Lanes as a music venue. Bruce and the band tore into Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu, I Just Want to Make Love to You, Down the Road Apiece and Twist and Shout.
The accolades and awards are mind boggling. He could have retired comfortably decades ago. Instead, just a few days shy of his 76th birthday, Paul McCartney did an unannounced pub concert with his band for around 50 people. Born on this day in 1942, we salute MACCA.
He launched his post James Gang career with a solo album released on June 17, 1973 with a wacky title and never stopped. Alons the way, he gave us reeases titled So What, You Can't Argue witha Sick Mind, But Seriously, Flolks, There Goes The Neighborhood, You Bought it - You Name It, Got Any Gum and ordinary Average Guy.
David Bowie released the groundbreaking album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars on this day in 1972. The album's lead figure was an androgynous Rocker that channeled messages from extraterrestrials to humans. Much of the material on the album had been performed during stops on a tour Bowie began in January of the release year.
Bob Dylan and a crew of musicians booked for the session by producer Tim Wilson entered Columbia Records Studio A in New York City on this day in 1965 to work on a song Dylan had distilled from a 10 page rant he'd written. Just back from a European tour and feeling disillusioned to the point that he was giving serious thought to quitting the music business, Bob and the band did 5 takes of the song. None of them hit the mark to Dylan's ears. The next day, Al Kooper (Blues Project, Blood, Sweat & Tears) joined them in the studio as a guest of Wilson.
At a point during that day's recording, Kooper, who at the time was primarily a guitarist, mentioned he had what he thought wold be a good part for the organ. The skeptical Wilson was said to be dismissive, but he allowed Kooper in on a subsequent take. Dylan loved what he heard and ordered Wilson to boost the organ in the mix during playback. The front-and-center sound of the improvised part played on that Hammond organ became the musical signature of Dylan's master work - and had a part in keeping Bob a musician.
Talking with Rolling Stone the following year, Dylan said, "Last spring, I guess I was going to quit singing. I was very drained, and the way things were going, it was a very draggy situation... But 'Like A Rolling Stone' changed it all."
Jackson Browne and Stevie Ray Vaughan don't have much in common musical style wise, but Jackson had an important role in the Texan guitar great's early career. Browne saw Vaughan perform at the Montreux Jazz festival in 1982 and was so impressed that he invited Stevie and his band to use his LA studio for free. Songs they recorded there got the band signed by John Hammond, the legendary producer credited with landing contracts for Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin and many others. Texas Flood, Stevie Ray's debut studio album with Double Trouble was recorded in just a couple of days, with no overdubs. It came out on this day in 1983.
Boston's Brad Delp was born on this day in 1951 in Peabody Mass. Delp not only did all of the lead vocals on the group's monumentally successful 1976 debut album, he did all of the background vocals as well. Brad, Barry Goudreau and Fran Sheehan were also together in the group RTZ in the early 90's. Sadly, Delp took his own life in his New Hampshire home in March of 2007, leaving behind a note in French that read simply, "I am a lonely soul'.
Billy Joel was on hand at the Tony Awards in New York Sunday (6/10) night to hand Bruce Springsteen a Lifetime Achievement award. Springsteen, whose solo run on Broadway has been extended three times, accepted it with brief remarks that included him saying, 'Thank you for making me feel so welcome on your block. Being a part of the Broadway community has been a great thrill and an honor for me, and it's been one of the most exciting things that I've ever experienced. Bruce was back later in the show to deliver a poignant sliver from one man show - a spoken intro about his family and neighborhood followed with a portion of My Hometown.
Paul McCartney popped up in a Liverpool club Saturday to do an unannounced concert. The show at the Philharmonic Club in the city the Beatles put on the musical map came at the end of a day McCartney had been seen in several places with James Corden and free tickets were reportedly distributed by a television industry company, so maybe some of it will get aired on his show.
Fleetwood Mac did not gain huge international acclaim until 1975, but in its early years released some really good albums. One contributor to those passed away Friday. Danny Kirwan was just 17 when he was opening club shows for Fleetwood Mac as the guitar player in the band Boilerhouse. He impressed the headliners enough to be asked to join FM in 1968. He was a member during the years the band produced Then Play On, Kiln House, Future Games and Bare Trees. Kirwan was fired after refusing to take the stage with the band at a concert during its US tour in the fall of 1972.
Canton, Ohio, home of the Football Hall of Fame can also boast of being the birthplace of guitar great William Royce 'Boz' Scaggs. His family relocated to Texas when Scaggs was quite young. He met Steve Miller at a school the pair attended and they formed a group known as the Marksmen. Scaggs and Miller continued playing together while at the University of Wisconsin before Boz headed off to Europe and recorded a solo album. Reuniting in San Francisco in 1967, Scaggs was on the first two Steve Miller Band albums before landing his own contract and putting out his outstanding 1968 album that featured Duane Allman and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.
Bother bands are notoriously unbrotherly. Ray and Dave Davies sniped at each other relentlessly and even came to blows during a Kinks concert. John and Tom Fogerty fought over so many things while together in Creedence Clearwater Revival that they were estranged until Tom's death. While less overtly disdainful of one another, Rich and Chris Robinson couldn't get along well enough to keep the Black Crowes together. It's a shame, because Shake Your Money Maker hinted that the Crowes could become a band for the ages at a time when so many other groups with that potential were imploding for a variety of other reasons.
Rich has remained the more musically active of the Robinson brothers, but none of the projects he's been involved in post-Crowes fulfilled the potential many thought that group had. His latest band, The Magpie Salute, will put out its debut album on August 10th. From it, here's Send Me An Omen. See whether you think it bodes well for Rich.
Some albums sound so different from anything that came before them that the first time you hear them sticks with you. My first listen to The Cars debut was, appropriately, in a car - the rental of a guy from Elektra Records. It was a few weeks before its release and he mentioned that there was some debate within the label about whether the debut by this Boston band would get traction.
Did it ever! Released on this day in 1978, it spent nearly the next 6 months on the Billboard album chart, spawned several of the biggest Rock radio tracks of the year and earned the group Best New Artist of the Year from Rolling Stone - back when the magazine still had musical cred.
One of the biggest releases of the 1980's made its debut on June 4. 1984. Born In The U.S.A. was Bruce Springsteen's 7th studio album and is close to having sold 40 million copies. It also has the distinction of being the first commercially released U.S. made compact disc.
The Ian Gillan, Roger Glover era of Deep Purple began with the release of Deep Purple In Rock, the group's 4th studio album, on this date in 1970. Ian Hunter (1946), Suzi Quatro (1950) and Lynyrd Skynyrd's Billy Powell (1952) were born on June 3. The Stones opened the Exile On Main Street tour ('72), Phil Collins released Face Value ('81)... and in 1970, Ray Davies of the Kinks had to fly from New York back to London to change the lyric in Lola from "Coca-Cola" to "cherry cola" because the BBC was refusing to play it as originally recorded.
After a 3 year recording hiatus brought on by legal wrangling with his former manager, Bruce was back on this day in 1978 with his highly anticipated follow-up to Born To Run. Springsteen had stockpiled close to 70 songs between albums. Some of the ones he left off of Darkness were big songs for other artists. Because The Night became the top track of Patti Smith's career and was also a hit for the Pointers Sisters. Fire put Robert Gordon on a lot of peoples radar. Bay Area rocker Greg Kihn had a good run with Rendezvous and Southside Johnny included three Darkness leftovers on his Hearts of Stone album.
On this date in 1968 The Beatles entered EMI's Abbey Road Studios to start recording what came to be known as The White Album. The group's 9th studio release was issued in a album cover that was completely white, with "The Beatles" embossed on it.
In the course of recording it, tensions flared. Both Ringo Starr and producer George Martin walked out on the project at different points. In addition to creative differences, Yoko Ono's presence contributed to the discord.
The album, released in November, may have more different styles of music on its four sides than any other Rock album before it or since.
A Memorial Day Birthday shout-out to Rocker and Army veteran John Fogerty, born 5/28/1945 in Berkeley, California.
John, Doug Clifford and Stu Cook formed a group called Blue Velvet while in high school in El Cerrito, CA. John's brother Tom would join later. The band got signed by Fantasy records and then blind-sided when a label exec renamed the group the Golliwogs, something the group discovered when opening a box of their newly pressed records
The name was changed to Creedence Clearwater Revival by the group in 1967, but the band remained stuck in a contract that allowed the label to control the publishing rights to every CCR song.
Fogerty retaliated by writing two songs purportedly targeting the label exec on his 1985 solo album Centerfield, triggering a lawsuit against the singer. The label also sued him claiming the song Old Man Down The Road on that album was lifted from the chorus of the CCR song Run Through The Jungle... which came down to Fogerty being sued for plagiarizing himself. A countersuit filed by Fogerty eventually got settled in his favor by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Not wanting to generate money for the label during the dispute, Fogerty refused to perform Creedence songs in solo concerts for many years.
Things within Creedence were also contentious. Fogerty wrote virtually all of the songs and considered himself in charge. When his brother quit in 1971, Clifford and Cook wanted more say in band decisions. John offered them more input and credit on songs for what would prove to be the group's last album together, 1972's Mardi Gras.
In the relatively brief period that all was well within the band, CCR was prolific. The albums Bayou Country, Green River and Willy and the Poor Boys were all released in 1969. In just 5 years of recording as a group, Creedence recorded 9 albums - 7 studio releases and a pair of live albums.
Stephanie Lynn Nicks... has the ring of a Country Music artist, and she might have become one. Her earliest singing was with her grandfather while growing up in the southwest. After stints living in Phoenix, Albuquerque, and El Paso, the Nicks family settled in California, where Stevie joined a folk-rock group. She met her future musical and romantic partner Lindsey Buckingham in her senior year of high school. They were together in a band named Fritz while attending San Jose State until 1972, when Buckingham Nicks was formed. Their album got released in '73. Buckingham played guitar on Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch's solo album, putting him on Mick Fleetwood's radar. The drummer wanted Lindsey to replace Welch in FM, but Welch said he'd only do it if Nicks was added, too. The pair became Fleetwood Mac members in January, 1975.
Def Leppard called on Trixter's Steve Brown to play guitar for them Friday (5/25) at the Hershey, PA stop on the Def Leppard/Journey tour after Phil Collen let the band know he needed time to tend to a family emergency. It wasn't clear how long Collen would need off.
Dead & Company kicking off 24 concert tour with a free webcast via nugs.tv from Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA on Wednesday (5/30). All of the other concerts on the 19 city tour will also be live streamed on an individual or bundled basis.
Rleased in the UK 5/23/1969, six days after its US release, the Who's Tommy was met with a combination of rave and dismissive reviews, many of the negative ones based on the opinion that an album revolving around a multi-handicapped boy was distasteful and exploitive.
Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets did the first of four London area concerts Sunday (5/20). The performances of material from Pink Floyd's first couple of albums are appropriately low tech from a production standpoint, as you can see in this video of Fearless.
The Fender Stratocaster guitar Robbie Robertson owned that Bob Dylan played on his first electric tour was sold at auction by Julien's Auctions for $490,000. The instrument's value was boosted by the fact that George Harrison and Eric Clapton also played it. Bought with a jet black finish, the guitar was later stripped down to its natural wood surface. The sunburst finish Fender Dylan used in his very first electric performance at the Newport Folk Festival sold five years ago for about twice the amount this guitar was purchased for.
Rapid recovery wishes to Burton Cummings. The Guess Who veteran was in an accident on Mother's Day in LA apparently caused by someone running a red light. He suffered a concussion, bruising and lacerations and a back injury. Ironically, Cummings was in Los Angeles to serve on the jury in a medical malpractice trial. The judge agreed to excuse him from jury duty so he could sing the anthem before the Winnipeg Jets/Las Vegas Knights hockey playoff game, on the condition that he sing it in court, which he did. Adding insult to injury, Las Vegas eliminated the Jets before the game Cummings would have sung.
A double CD concert performance David Bowie delivered in London in 1978 is coming out in June. The Earl's Court concert came during a period Bowie was concentrating on material from his Low and Heroes albums. Welcome to the Blackout gets released June 29. A good deal more live Bowie material expected to be mined in the coming years.
Stevie Ray Vaughan's second album hit the streets on May 15, 1984. Side one ended with his 8 minute version of Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), the Hendrix classic off Electric Ladyland. Cold Shot, the opener on side two and the title track were the other big songs on the release.
One of the bigger co-headlining tours this summer has a twist that could put a dent in the amount of cleanup required after the concerts. Def Leppard fans will be able to buy a Pale Ale branded with the group's name and some art work from the Hysteria album. The group is getting the brewing done by the Seattle based Elysian Brewing. 16 oz cans will be available starting with theDef Leppard/Journey tour's second stop, Albany, New York's Times Union Center on May 23. Billboard.com
The soundtrack to the movie documenting the original Woodstock festival got released on this date in 1970. Amazing as the lineup was in hindsight, several of the groups were in very early stages. It was only CSN's second performance with Neil Young as a member, Santana's debut album hadn't been released. Several heavy hitters took a pass, including The Doors who, after looking at a map, concluded the location was so remote that it wouldn't draw much of a crowd.
The modernistic for it's time but also rustic home in Topanga Canyon that Neil Young lived in early in his career is on the market. The home, perched high in the canyon north of the Los Angeles basin, was also owned for a time by Bernie Leadon of the Eagles. It's listed for $1.8 million.
Pearl Jam has done some stripped down but powerful versions of I Won't Back Down in concert. Now, PJ guitarist Mike McCready has recorded a version of the Tom Petty anthem with KT Tunstall to raise money for his band's Vitalogy Foundation.
Yesterday we congratulated Bob Seger on the 40th anniversary of the release of Stranger In Town, Today, join us in a toast to the man himself celebrates the start of his 73'rd year, Still Runnin' Against The Wind.
While several Rockers his age have said 'no mas' to touring or are in or planning farewell tours, Alice Cooper plans on doing more tours. The 70 year old Cooper, who recently released his 27th album, is gearing up for a 40 date tour that will include a couple of nights with Ace Frehley.
The album was Stranger In Town. He was. After the multi-platinum success of Night Moves, Bob Seger made the move his Detroit area musical friend Glenn Frey had made many years earlier - he moved to Southern California and into a house in the hills of Hollywood. Frey and fellow Eagle Don Felder played on the album Bob released on this date in 1978. So did Little Feat's Bill Payne. But Bob's Hollywood Nights were short lived. It wasn't long before he abandoned Hollyweird to return to his home state and state of mind.
The local group Dysfuntion was getting New Orleans warmed up for the annual influx of Jazz Festival fans when one of the annual festival's best known Rockers jumped on stage with them on Bourbon Street. Dysfunction member Adam Haines told WWLTV that it's not unusual for fans to get excited enough to jump on stage with them during certain songs, but having Steven Tyler do it when his band broke into Walk This Way took everyone by surprise Thursday night (5/3).
After learning that National Guard troops had opened fire on Vietnam War protestors on the campus of Kent State University, Neil Young sat down and wrote a song that helped turn the tide of the country against the war.
Many fans consider the album released on May 3rd, 1976 to be Aerosmith at it's raw, Rockin' best. The group's 4th studio release arrived just before the band's increasingly wild lifestyle would start undermining their ability to hold things together in the studio and on the road.
Bruce Springsteen will add to a hardware collection that includes a number of Grammys an Oscar and numerous other honors in June when he adds a Tony Award for his one man show Springsteen on Broadway. The groundbreaking show at the Walter Kerr Theatre has been extended three times and will come close to 250 performances by the tme the run wraps in December.
The Tony Awards recognition is being bestowed on The Boss for what the organization calls Springsteen's "...ongoing engagement, a once-in-a-lifetime theatregoing experience for the Broadway stage, allowing fans an intimate look at a musical idol."
The Tony Awards telecast takes place from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 10 and will air on CBS starting at 8p eastern.
Birthday wishes to THE voice of Foreigner, Lou Gramm, born Louis Andrew Grammatico on this date in 1950. Lou was in the Rochester, NY band Black Sheep. When Mick Jones performed there with Spooky Tooth, Grammatico gave Jones a Black Sheep album. He was impressed enough to invite Lou to audition for the lead vocal spot when Jones' was in the group that would become Foreigner. Lou got the gig, dropped a few letters from his last name and went on to become one of Rock's most highly acclaimed front men.
A sour note for Gibson today. The nearly 125 year old guitar maker filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, which also produces Baldwin pianos and products under the Wurlitzer, Cerwin Vega, Epiphone and Dobro brand names, hopes to stay in the business of producing instruments, but consumer electronics like the headphones and speakers under the Phillips name will get the axe.
After two 1975 domestic albums, AC/DC unleashed their first album beyond Australia in 1976. The US release would not come until mid May, but the rest of the world got its jolt of High Voltage on April 30th.
An always mercurial musician has come up with another unexpected career move. Bob Dylan is entering the liquor business.Several Rockers have licensing arrangements hitching their names to wines and spirits, but Dylan has an ownership stake in a new brand that will hawk Bourbon, Rye and a Double Barrel Whiskey, Knocking On Heaven's Door.
April 28, 1978 has to be in the mind's eye highlights reel for Cheap Trick's members. It was the first of two nights the group spent on stage at Budokan in Japan, and the reception they got from 12,000 fan(atics) rivaled ones the Beatles got during their US tours.
Foreigner ventured into new territory with the April 27 release of a May, 2017 concert in Lucerne, Switzerland that featured the current lineup of the group backed by a 58 piece orchestra and a choir of 60. Here's a look & listen to what's on the CD/LP/DVD and digital release.
Paul Daniel Frehley roared into this world on this date in 1951. KISS guitarist for the group's first decade went solo in '82, and was back in the ranks from 1996-2002. Ace prided himself on being a self taught musician... he never took a lesson. He credits Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page,Pete Townshend, Buddy Guy, BB King and Albert Lee as having inspired him.
Stones releasing an avalanche of vinyl. A 15 lp box set of albums dating from 1971 - 2016 is due June 15. All have been remastered from original tapes and cut at 1/2 speed in Abbey Road Studios. The hearing of most of the group's fan base might not be intact enough to discern the difference, but those willing to pony up for the set will receive individually numbered copies of the limited edition release.
When synthesizer Rock ruled, Gary Wright's light shone bright. Born on this date in 1943 in Jersey, his entertainment career started as stage and TV child actor. Wright was in a couple of bands in high school before deciding to pursue a medical degree, which led to studies in Europe, where he met Island Records head honcho Chris Blackwell, who arranged for him to join a UK band that soon became the on-again-off-again band Spooky Tooth. Wright played on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass during the first Spooky Tooth hiatus and later worked on other Harrison solo projects. Wright one big solo album came out in the summer of 1975. The title song became a staple of Album Rock radio and Love Is Alive was a moderately big song, too.
Fleetwood Mac collectively gave their reason Lindsey Buckingham is no longer with the group during a session on the CBS Morning News. Mick Fleetwood attributed it to Buckingham's resistance to going out on the tour the band had been putting together over the last several months, saying that tensions had been rising and they finally hit a brick wall over the issue. New FM guitarist Campbell, put on the spot about whether being in the band is a long term commitment for him, skirted it a bit. Fleetwood Mac's history of being like a real life soap opera could make it Interesting to see how long Campbell lasts. Everyone's always said Tom Petty was one of the easiest guys in music to work with. Nobody's ever said that about Mick, Stevie & Christine.
Black Sabbath's first album with Ronnie James Dio was released on this day in 1980. The original sessions for Heaven & Hell started with Ozzy in a process Tony Iommi called "Highly frustrating and never ending". Several unproductive months into it, Osbourne was gone, Dio in.
In the span of just a few days, Patti Smith performed with three members of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and Bruce Springsteen. The appearance with the Heartbreakers came during an Autism awareness and fund raising event on Saturday (4/21) in Austin, Texas. Her performance of Because The Night with them marked the first time Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench and Stever Ferrone had taken the stage together since Petty died last October. Stephen Stills would also join the Heartbreakers during that set on a version of I Won't Back Down. At the Tribeca Film Festival's night at the Beacon Theatre in New York, Smith welcomed Because The Night's writer to join her on stage.
A lot of his contemporaries gave up writing new music and started doing 'victory lap' tours, but Tom Petty was always pushing himself and his band to beat expectations and surprise fans in the process. God bless him.
This great album that included musical contributions from all of the Heartbreakers except Stan Lynch but was Petty's first solo release came out on this date in '89.
Lynyrd Skynyrd will play its final concert in the city it was formed in. The clsoing date for the legendary band's final tour is September 2 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. Commenting on the announcement, Johnny Van Zant, the broter of original lead vocalist Ronnie, said, This is a dream come true for the Lynyrd Skynyrd band. We're going to rock the house here. My brother and Gary (Rossington) and Alan Collins started this band a long time ago. We are on our farewell tour. I't time to wrap it up.' Jason Aldean and Kid Rock are also on the bill and a number of special guests are expected to join the Kkynyrd lineup during the night.
Peter Kenneth Frampton comes alive on April 22, 1950 and is in his first band by the time he's 12. Older classmate David Bowie (Jones, at the time) has a group, too. Three bands later, at age 18, Frampton hooks-up with Steve Marriott to form Humble Pie. His decision to go solo in 1971 and form a group named Frampton's Camel the following year both looked like bad career moves until 5 years later when Frampton Comes Alive! blew up and became one of the biggest selling live albums in history, logging nearly 100 consecutive weeks on the Billboard albums chart and being certified platinum (1 million copies) 8 times.
Metallica has made it a point to raise awareness and funds for area food banks when on tour. The group is also asking fans to step up and volunteer at food banks. A concentrated campaign is underway to mobilize as many as possible on May 23. The Metallica Day of Service is being coordinated by the group's foundation, All Within My Hands. Fans that register online to volunteer at food banks in a number of cities will be thanked by the band with a limited edition t-shirt.
Bruce Springsteen's original hand written lyrics for Born To Run sold 5 years ago for $197,000 in a Sotheby's auction. The single sheet draft of the title song to his 1975 album includes notations and lyrics that Bruce elected to leave out of the final version that goes up for bids in June is expected to handily top that. sothebys.com
The crop of things springing up for Record Store Day on April 21 is impressive. Here are some of the highlights, and
a link to the complete list.
AC/DC - Back In Black - Casette
Andrew Oldham Orchestra -Rolling Stones Songbook - LP
Jeff Beck - Truth - LP
Dickey Bets - Live At The Lone Star Roadhouse - 2LP
Blue Oyster Cult - Rarities - LP
David Bowie - Let's Dance Demo - 12" Vinyl
Def Leppard - Live at Abbey Road - 12" Vinyl
Doors - Live at the Matrix - LP
Jerry Garcia - Run For The Roses - LP
Gov't Mule - Girl With No Self Esteem - 12" Vinyl
Led Zeppelin - Rock And Roll (Sun Studio) / Friends (Olympic Studio) - 7" gold Vinyl
Pink Floyd - Piper At The Gates Of Dawn - LP
Police - Roxanne - 7" Picture Disc
Iggy Pop - Live at the Ritz - 2LP
Small Faces - Lazy Sunday/Ogdens Nut Gone Flake - 7" Vinyl
Smithereens - Smithereens Play Tommy - LP
George Thorogood - Shot Down/Ain't Coming Home - 7" Vinyl