Category Archives: Great Rockers
In tribute to this marvelous date — 11/11/11 — I present the following:
“These go to eleven …”
Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.
Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi: Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.
And Superdrag’s heartfelt rawk tribute to a girl,
Spinal Tap-style: “My baby goes to eleven …”
“The Green Manalishi” by Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac is my (current) guitar holy grail: I really need to just sit down with it for a couple of hours and suss it all out. This song haunts me, dangit … but not as badly as it haunted Peter Green. What exactly IS a manalishi, anyway?
Nice review of the new Jayhawks – Louris + Olson = magic!
So, the news today is that REM is calling it quits after 31 years as a band. Under “bands that changed my life,” I put REM in the top 3 with The Beatles and U2. I had a picture of Murmur-era REM, cut out of Rolling Stone, taped up on the wall in my bedroom when I was a pre-teen, and even when they stopped being my own little secret — when they hit big with “Losing My Religion,” there was still a special place in my musical soul for the sounds of Buck, Berry, Stipe and Mills.
Here are my favorite REM tracks, in no particular order:
“I Believe” — and you can read more about my connection to this tune here.
“The One I Love”
“It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”
And an oh-so-young REM doing my fave cover of theirs: Television’s ‘See No Evil’
in fact, here’s the whole show – REM in Germany, 1985 (Fables Tour)
Everyone knows that Keef is the coolest Stone, the iconic Stone, but that wasn’t always the way it was, nor will it always be the way they’ll be remembered, more than likely. Jagger’s voice, persona, and lyrical flair — not to mention lips — were the band’s original trademark, and are as inseparable from the band’s sound as Keef’s riffing or Charlie’s rimshots.
Happy 68th Birthday, Mick! To pay my respects I offer this tribute: my favorite “Mick Moments” on record/video — Stones and otherwise. What are yours?
State of Shock / It’s Only Rock and Roll (Mick & Tina)
Evening Gown (solo)
Nice review of a (mostly) forgotten artist’s best work … I’m a fan of “Southern Band” myself.
The 1975 album reflects a transitional era in American popular music. The 1960s were dead, done in by political cynicism, rock stars choking on their own vomit, and the realization that singing “All you need is love” didn’t change a damn thing. Rock and roll was dying. So what was a rock musician to do? Keep the fire burning. Plug Me Into Something veers from style to style—from Black Oak Arkansas-style Southern-tinged rock on “One More Tomorrow” and “Southern Band,” to straightforward country-rock on “Evergreen,” to Beatlesque pop on “All My Love.” In sum, this is American rock ’n’ roll music. And American rock ’n’ roll music is good.
When I think of the soul of rock and roll, I tend to think of bands like The Flamin’ Groovies, bands that you should hear on classic rock radio but don’t, bands who hit that main vein of rock just a few times, with just a few gems (as opposed to a bunch of great records).
Here are three tunes that I think could easily replace a couple of tired classic rock repeaters (Nazareth’s version of “Love Hurts” maybe? Anything by Peter Frampton?). Take a listen:
Shake Some Action
Intrigued? The story of the Flamin’ Groovies is interesting, weird, and kind of hilarious. Get the Groovies’ history and discography here.
Sad news – the passing of E Street sax man Clarence Clemons. I can’t begin to describe the iconic importance that the Boss and the Big Man had for me as a teenager, and Clarence’s solo on “Jungleland” — heck, his work on the entire Born to Run album — still blows me away. Check out the link below to Washington Post’s obit. Moving stuff:
I’m gonna sit back right easy and laugh
When Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half
(from “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out”)
“Bruce created a whole mythology for the Jersey shore on his early records — a created landscape like in literature,” DeCurtis said. “All the guys in the band had nicknames, they all had a role and the one who had the biggest role was Clarence — the Big Man.”
“Let’s Rock and Roll” – Bobby Bare, Jr.
Thanks to my brother Andy Russell for turning me on to this song. Truer lines have never been written about the indignities of the ‘rock and roll lifestyle.’ I laughed, I cried … because it quite literally had been a part of my life for twenty some-odd years. Not to the extent it has been BB, Jr’s, but I’ve seen the vomit running down the walls, and when I heard the opening verse, I knew that this song would be one I’d be listening to again and again:
I live in the floor of a mini-van
Driven by drunks across this land
And I wake up in the worst part of your town
Drink free beer and sing until I fall down
Let’s rock and roll, let’s rock and roll
May the good lord of wine, women and song bless the road warriors like BB Jr who are still out there doing it every night. My rocking and rolling is now limited to once a month or so, and very seldom does the van get more than an hour away from home base. The days of draft beer dinners and crashing on strange, cigarette-stained couches or six dudes sharing a cheap motel room (“we don’t take checks!”) are fading into the fog of memory. And I can laugh about it now, thanks to this song.
“End of the Rainbow” – Richard & Linda Thompson
This is a harsh song. Brutal even: “There’s nothing at the end of the rainbow / there’s nothing to grow up for anymore.” Whenever I’m sad, very sad, this is the soundtrack playing in my head. Tough stuff. But there’s something about the absolute rawness of the lyric, the clarity — ”I feel for you, you little horror” — that’s somehow cleansing. When you see the world that bleakly, and you’re feeling bleak, there’s nowhere to go but up, right? Right?