Tag: Classic Rock

Tunes for Tuesday: Rock And Roll All Nite

Kiss exploded on the scene in January of 1973. formed by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Kiss is one of the best selling bands in history, selling over 100 million records worldwide. They also hold the record with 30 Gold albums, as well as 14 platinum albums, with three of them going multi-platinum.

Rock And Roll All Nite (1975)

Kiss, with their make-up and costumes, took on the personae of comic book-style characters: with the Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), The Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley), and The Catman (Criss). However, due to creative differences, both Criss and Frehley had left the group by 1982. Several musicians have filled those spots over the years.

Black Diamond (1975 Promo)

In 1978, I was leading a convoy from North Adams, MA to Springfield, MA for a Kiss concert in January. There were three cars packed with friends from high school. Unfortunately, a lady in an oncoming vehicle lost control and slammed into the 1973 International Scout I was driving. The Scout was a sturdy vehicle, and we were all okay. Her car was totaled. Once the tow trucks, ambulance, and police left, we all piled into the remaining vehicles and continued on. It wasn’t until we got to the Civic Center that I realized that my ticket was in the towed off Scout. My friends all went in, and I found a bar where the bartender took pity on me and let me hang out until the concert was over and I could catch my ride home.

I did eventually see them many years later in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Thompson-Boling Arena in 2003. It was a double-header with Aerosmith. While Aerosmith is arguably more musically talented, Kiss blew them off the stage.

Strutter (Madison Square Garden, 1996)

Kiss is perhaps best known for their face paint and stage outfits. The group rose to fame in the mid-to-late 1970s with their spectacular live performances featuring fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and lots of pyrotechnics.

Calling Dr. Love (Dodger Stadium, 1998)

Calling Dr. Love was always one of my favorite later Kiss songs. I was more attuned to the KISS ALIVE songs. But Dr. Love had a simple little driving riff that just caught my attention.

And then, there is always Lick It Up.

Lick It Up (Washington. DC, 2004)

I also always liked Detroit Rock City, too, although I like the extended version that ends with screeching tires, breaking glass, and crunching metal. I am not sure why. I have been in several car wrecks, and they are not much fun. Maybe that’s what the song was warning me about.

Detroit Rock City (Live on Letterman, 2012)

Kiss even had something for you, Disco fans out there. When I first heard this song, I was mortified. But, it did kind of grow on me over time. It’s really not that bad, written in collaboration with Desmond Child and Vini Poncia. And, you get to see Paul Stanley fly!

I Was Made For Loving You (Rock the Nation, 2004)

I hope you will take a few minutes and check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here!

And check out my new novel, Montagnard, on Amazon.com! Joe just got his copy last night and texted me that he is already on page 153. He said, “Darren, I love the book. I can’t put it down!”

Tunes for Tuesday: Freezing Nights?

Three Dog Night

Three Dog Night is an American rock band formed in 1967, with founding members consisting of vocalists Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, and Chuck Negron. They soon added Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards), Joe Schermie (bass), Michael Allsup (guitar), and Floyd Sneed (drums).

I grew up listening to so many of these songs on local AM radio stations! AM radio, you may ask? For you youngsters, that was before VH1, MTV, and iPods.

Old Fashioned Love Song (1975)

Three Dog Night had 21 Billboard Top 40 hits between 1969 and 1975, with three reaching number one spots. Three Dog Night recorded many songs written by outside songwriters, and they helped to introduce mainstream audiences to writers such as Paul Williams (“An Old Fashioned Love Song”) and Hoyt Axton (“Joy to the World”).

Joy to the World (1972)

Included in the official commentary for the CD set Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1964–1975, is a section describing how vocalist Danny Hutton’s girlfriend, actress June Fairchild (best known as the “Ajax Lady” from the Cheech and Chong movie Up In Smoke) came up with the name. She’d read an article about indigenous Australians, in which it was explained that on cold nights they would sleep in a hole in the ground while embracing a dingo, a native species of wild dog. On colder nights, they would sleep with two dogs, and if the night were freezing, it was a “three dog night.”

Shambala (1975)

The album Three Dog Night was a massive success with its hit songs “One,” “Try A Little Tenderness,” and “Nobody.” Its success brought the group recognition, and they quickly became one of the top drawing concert acts of their time.

One (1975)

Great vocals, great voices, great music. What else can you say!

Never Been To Spain (2014)

And one of my personal favorites ….

Mama Told Me Not To Come (1970)

Hope you enjoyed this trip down my musical memory lane! I sure did.

I hope you will take a few minutes and check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here! And check out my new novel, Montagnard, on Amazon.com!

Tunes for Tuesday: Fog Warning!

Do you have your Foghat on?

A bit of rock trivia: Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin wore one for a short time during a concert in 1970! I bought one the first time I saw them in Springfield, MA. I have no idea what happened to it!

I saw this excellent blues-rock band a few times at the Springfield Civic Center, once as the warm-up band for, I think, Ted Nugent and once for Rush. And once, as the headliner. I believe some group called the Stars warmed up for them, but that was back in the 1970s. My memories of that time are a bit faded.

The founding members were Dave “Lonesome Dave” Peverett (Guitar, Vocals), Tony Stevens (Bass), Roger Earl (Drums), and Rod Price (Guitar/Slide Guitar).

Fool For The City (1975)

Fool for the City was the fifth album released by English rock band Foghat, released in 1975. This was their first platinum album and features, along with the title track, their most famous song, “Slow Ride.”

Home In My Hand (1974)

Sorry about the recording #’s, but still just great live music! Foghat left an indelible imprint on Rock history and were incredible musical talents. For some reason, they never really received the recognition deserved. It’s a real shame that they aren’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I Just Want To Make Love To You (Dayton, OH 1997)

I mean, you are talking about a band with 5 Gold and 2 Platinum albums, for Pete’s sake!

Stone Blue (1978)

“Stone Blue” was the seventh studio album by English blues-rock band Foghat, released in May 1978. For this album, Foghat paired with producer Eddie Kramer, who had previously worked with Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Kramer and Foghat did not hit it off too well, but the tension in the studio probably helped to give the album an added edge. In addition to the title track, “Stone Blue” (a Top 40 hit), the collection also boasted a ferocious cover of Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago,” reasserting the band’s blues credentials.

Sweet Home Chicago (1978)

Foghat was a great band that history has kind of ignored. However, if you look, there are still some old die-hard Foghat fans like me lurking around out there.

I hope you will take the time to check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here!

Tunes for Tuesday: Soul Sacrifice

Sorry, this post is a little late. It has been a busy day putting some finishing touches in place for the release of my new book, Montagnard. If you are interested, you can check it out here!

Sometimes when you have limited time, you have to make a sacrifice. So, let’s head back in time to 1969 and Woodstock, and check out Soul Sacrifice by Carlos Santana.

Soul Sacrifice (Woodstock, 1969)

Carlos Santana was one hell of a guitar player. You’ve heard of blues guitarists making a deal with the devil at a crossroads for fame and success. Sometimes I wonder it Carlos Santana made a deal with some black magic woman.

Black Magic Woman (Tanglewood, 1970)

I once wondered if I could make a deal like that, but when I looked around, she wasn’t there.

She’s Not There (1977)

This was a poor sound quality video later dubbed over with the CD)

Santana’s guitar playing spoke may languages and his music is still appreciated around the globe.

Europa (Live, 1982)

Santana is an American rock band formed in San Francisco in 1966 by Mexican-American guitarist and songwriter Carlos Santana. The group has undergone several line-up changes in its recording and performance history, with Carlos Santana being the only common denominator.

Maria, Maria (Live at Montreux, 2011)

This post does not have as much text and commentary as some of my other Tunes for Tuesday posts. Sometimes you just have to let the music speak for itself!

Tunes for Tuesday: Are You The Company You Keep?

Then I must be in Bad Company!

It there was ever a rock band that I would have loved to be a part of, it would have been Bad Company. So much of their music touch my soul. Bad Company could rock the stage, sing a love song, fired up that rebellious spirit, and hit every emotion … all in one song!

Bad Company is an English rock supergroup formed in Westminster, London, in 1973. The original lineup included Paul Rodgers (Vocals), Mick Ralphs (Guitars), Simon Kirke (Drums), and Boz Burrell (Bass). They were managed by Peter Grant, who also managed Led Zeppelin.

Bad Company (1974)

A word about Paul Rogers. Many consider Rogers to be one of the best rock vocalists in history. In 1982, Paul decided he needed a break, and the band was heading for trouble. Bad Company had become bigger than its members, and Rodgers felt that to continue would have destroyed things. From a business standpoint, it was the wrong thing to do, but Paul took a hiatus from 1982 to 1998.

Burning Sky (Live, 2010)

But still, the music played on …

If You Needed Somebody (Video, 1990)

Those were the days. Long hair and great music! I must be getting old. I miss this kind of Rock and Roll. Music with a soul. For you youngsters out there, this is what you call classic rock music.

Feel Like Makin’ Love (1975)

I’m a big Paul Rodgers fan, but I must admit I also loved the Brian Howe songs.

Brian Howe became Bad Company’s lead singer from 1986 – 1992 during the Paul Rodgers hiatus. Brian had some enormous shoes to fill, but fill them, he damn sure did.

Holy Water (Brian Howe)

Brian Howe left the band in 1994. He recently died from a heart attack on May 6. 2020. RIP.

Rock n Roll Fantasy (1999, with a Special Guest)

The special guest should need no introduction to you southern rockers out there!

Anyway, that is this week’s Tunes for Tuesday! I hope you enjoyed it. It’s all part of my rock and roll fantasy!

Tunes for Tuesday: Queen

Queen was a British rock band formed in London in 1970. They went on to become one of the most commercially successful musical acts of all time. Queen consisted of Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), John Deacon (Bass), and Freddie Mercury (Lead Vocals, Piano). Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock, and heavy metal. The band gradually ventured into a more conventional and radio-friendly format by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop-rock.

Somebody to Love (Official Video)

I saw Queen at the Providence Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island in 1980. That was one of the very best concerts I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of ever seens!

Bohemian Rhapsody (Wembley, 1986)

As I often seem to find, I do like the earlier Queen when their music had less of a pop feel too it. That is just the rocker in me. I mean, hey, I still like to hear a little cowbell now and again. But while the later stuff may not be my cup of tea, sound-wise, you cannot argue with its success and musical genius.

Tie Your Mother Down (Montreal, 1981)

Live Aid, 1985

At the Live Aid concert held at Wembley on July 13, 1985, Queen performed some of their greatest hits in front of the largest-ever TV audience of 1.9 billion viewers. The sold-out stadium audience of 72,000 people were thoroughly entranced by the band’s performance. The show’s organizers, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure; along with other musicians, such as Elton John, Cliff Richard, and Dave Grohl; and journalists writing for the BBC, CNN, Rolling Stone, MTV, and The Telegraph, among others, later described Queen as the highlight band of the event.

We Will Rock You (Montreal, 1981)

In the late 80s, fans began to notice Mercury’s increasingly gaunt appearance. The media started to report that Freddie Mercury was seriously ill, with AIDS frequently mentioned as a likely illness. Mercury denied this, insisting he was merely “exhausted” and too busy to provide interviews. Mercury had, in fact, been diagnosed as HIV positive in 1987; however, he shared this knowledge with only his inner circle of friends and colleagues.

I Want It All (1989)

The Mercury Phoenix Trust

After Freddie Mercury died in 1991, The Mercury Phoenix Trust was founded by Brian May, Roger Taylor, and their manager Jim Beach in memory of their friend and colleague.

While AIDS is not in the news as often these days, it is still a problem in many countries, especially in Africa. In the last 21 years, the Trust has given away over 17 million dollars in Freddie Mercury’s name and funded over 1000 projects in the global battle against HIV/AIDS.

And while there may be a few factual inaccuracies, the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, released in 2018, is well worth your time. I was reluctant to watch it at first but finally did. I was very pleasantly surprised.

It was very well done. Rami Malek did a fantastic job portraying Freddie Mercury, and the film earned five Oscar nominations including one for best picture and a best actor for Malek.

I hope you will take the time to check out some of my other posts by clicking here!

Tunes for Tuesday: Flirtin’ With Disaster

Molly Hatchet was one of many great blue-collar, southern rock bands from Florida. Formed in 1971 by Dave Hlubek, they are best known for their hit song, Flirtin’ With Disaster. The band has seen many line-up changes over the years. My favorite membership included Danny Jo Brow (Vocals), Dave Hlubek (Guitar), Duane Roland (Guitar), Steve Holland (Guitar), Riff West (Bass), and Barry Borden (Drums). For me, it would just be hard to follow Danny Jo Brow’s great stage persona, gruff voice, and cowboy horse-whistling.

Molly Hatchet took its name from a prostitute who, rumor has it, mutilated and decapitated her clients. The band also had some of the coolest album cover designs ever, often featuring heroic fantasy art by such artists as Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, and Paul R. Gregory.

In the 1980s, Molly Hatchet shed its southern rock persona and shifted to a straight-ahead rock and roll sound with the release of the 1981 album Take No Prisoners. I really thought that was a shame. I liked the earlier Southern rock sound, and soon lost interest in the “new” Molly Hatchet.

Oh well … stuff happens. Here are a couple of my favorite Molly Hatchet songs from the earlier days.

Flirtin’ With Disaster (Live)

Bounty Hunter (Capitol Theater, 1978)

Dreams I’ll Never See (Live)

And, about those album covers …

Molly Hatchet was great cruising music. Just unroll the windows on a summer day, crank up the vintage Craig Power Play stereo system connected to those Jensen Triaxial speakers, and let the tunes play!

I hope you will check out some of my other posts by clicking here!

Tunes for Tuesday: Go Go Godzilla!

Blue Oyster Cult was another of my favorite bands as a teenager and, along with Black Sabbath, was one of the first heavy metal bands. The first album I bought was Agents of Fortune. While they had released three earlier records, this was the one that crashed through the door to commercial success for the band.

The album’s first single, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” just missed the U.S. Top 10 in the summer of ’76, hitting #12, and the album sold, in large part, based on that one song.

From the Byrds-inspired main riff to the mid-song eruption, it was unlike anything else on the radio at the time. This classic riff was one of the first I learned to play on the guitar.

Don’t Fear The Reaper (Live 1976)

Over time, of course, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” not only became a genuine rock classic but gained another lease on life via the infamous “more cowbell” skit on Saturday Night Live.

More Cowbell

Godzilla, from their next and fifth album Spectres, was one of the bands more popular songs, but neither it nor any of the other songs on that record ever made the charts. However, Godzilla did have a very long life on Classic Rock radio

Godzilla (Live 1977)

Blue Oyster Cult continued to be a great concert draw but did not strike big pay dirt again until 1981, when they released the album Fire of Unknown Origin with its smash hit, Burning For You. Burning for you hit #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart.

Burning For You (Live 1981)

Blue Oyster Cult was one of the few American rock bands that were making videos when MTV launched in 1981. The single version of Burning For You was released in July that year, and when MTV went on air on August 1, they were happy to put it in rotation since they wanted to push a rock format but had little to choose from. Thanks to exposure on MTV, the song rose in the charts, reaching #40 in October.

Bone up on some great American Rock and Roll

As we’re sitting at home, one way to keep from going stir crazy is to check out some of the fantastic Classic Rock music produced during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

I do a lot of that when I need a break from working on my next book!

Be sure to check out Serpents Underfoot and Adirondack Bear Tales while you are sitting at home at the computer as well.

Montagnard is in the hands of my editor and will be out soon!

Tunes for Tuesday: Carry On!

Yeah! I know it’s one day late. So, sue me!

Growing up, there was not a lot of agreement as to what constituted great music in my family. My mother grew up on Elvis Presley and liked some rock music, mostly on the lighter pop side. My father, not so much. Both my parents loved Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, opera, and Madrigals. I liked Grand Funk Railroad, Led Zeppelin, Blue Oyster Cult, Steppenwolf, Ted Nugent, and even some Kiss. Not a lot of genre cross-over there.

Then one day, I was listening to one of my albums, and my Dad stopped and listened for a moment and then said, “Now, that’s well-orchestrated rock.” Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather!

At the time, I was listening to some Kansas

Carry On Wayward Son

I saw Kansas three times. Twice as a teenager; once in Springfield, MA, once at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga, NY, and then later on in Knoxville, TN, in the mid-1980s.

Everybody liked Dust in the Wind. And it’s a great song. However, not one of my favorites. It is a bit mellow and seems slightly depressing to me. But hey, to each his own.

Dust in the Wind

One of my favorites was, of course, Carry On Wayward Son. And, of course, there were What’s on My Mind and Song for America, to name a few more.

What’s On My Mind

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a live video clip of this song with excellent sound quality. So, here is the version from their first album.

Song For America

How can you not like that!

Tunes for Tuesday: How about a little Tomcattin!

For me, the best days of Rock music were the 1970s, when lights in the audience were from lighters, not cellphones.

People who knew 70s Rock and Roll knew Blackfoot

Blackfoot is an American Southern rock band from Jacksonville, Florida, formed in 1969. Though they primarily play with a Southern rock style, they are also known as a hard rock act.

The band’s lineup consisted of guitarist and vocalist Rickey Medlocke, guitarist Charlie Hargrett, bassist Greg T. Walker, and drummer Jakson Spires. The group took the name Blackfoot to honor the American Indian heritage of 3 of the 4 founding members.

The group toured frequently during 1979; late during the year they opened for British superstars, The Who, at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan.

They had a number of successful albums during the late 1970s and early 1980s, including Strikes (1979), Tomcattin’ (1980) and Marauder (1981).

“Highway Song” is a true classic! Rick Medlocke is definitely the real deal and a complete showman, incredible voice, and highly talented musician. This song and band were underrated and underappreciated.

Highway Song

Train, Train is another great song in which Rick Medlocke showed off his blues slide skills on his Les Paul. The song was actually written by Rick’s grandfather, Shorty Medlocke, and it became their first success and most well-known song.

Train, Train

The original Blackfoot put out some great southern rock music. In the 80s, with the southern rock genre being considered somewhat passe by the pop music press, the band struggled and recreated itself several times with new members, but it was never the same.

Rick Medlocke began touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1996. He also reformed the band Blackfoot with all new members and himself acting as producer. He sometimes joins the band on stage during certain concerts.