Tag: Classic Rock

Tunes for Tuesday: Piece of My Heart!

Janis Lyn Joplin (Born: January 19, 1943, Died: October 4, 1970) was an American singer-songwriter who belted out rock, soul, and the blues. Joplin was one of the most successful and widely known rock stars of her era; she was noted for her powerful and raspy vocals and her “electric” stage presence.

Ball and Chain (Monterey, 1967)

Momma Cass Elliot was wowed!

In 1967, Joplin rose to fame following an appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, where she was the lead singer of a little-known San Francisco psychedelic rock band called Big Brother and the Holding Company.

After releasing two albums with Big Brother, Janis Joplin left to continue as a solo artist with her own backing groups, first the Kozmic Blues Band and then the Full Tilt Boogie Band. She performed at Woodstock and with the Festival Express train tour. Five singles by Joplin reached the Billboard Hot 100, including a cover of the Kris Kristofferson song “Me and Bobby McGee,” which hit #1 in March of 1971

This next video was produced by a fan named Jeffrey A as a tribute to 1960s rock legend Janis Joplin. Along with the audio are some great historical images of her. It’s an amazingly beautiful homage.

Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster wrote “Me and Bobby McGee,” which Roger Miller originally sang. Janis Joplin killed it with her great cover of this song.

Bobby McGee (Best HD Quality)

Her most popular songs include her covers of “Piece of My Heart,” “Summertime,” “Cry Baby,” and “Down on Me,” and her original song “Mercedes Benz,” which became her final recording.

Sometime you just have to let the artist speak for themselves …

Piece of My Heart (Live in Germany, 1968)

Summertime (Recorded live at Winterland, 1968)

Cry Baby

Down On Me (Newport Folk Festival, 68)

Janis Joplin … a little bit of rock, a good bit of soul, and a mega-dose of blues. Sadly, she lived her music. In 2005 the Grammys gave Janis Joplin a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for being one of the greatest rock singers of all time.

Mercedes Benz (Original)

Janis recorded this on October 1, 1970. She died on October 4th. Rest in Peace. Janis Joplin will always have a little piece of my heart.


Janis Joplin died in 1960 of an accidental heroin overdose. She was 27-years-old. She had released three albums.

Her fourth album, Pearl, was released in January 1971, three months after her death. It quickly climbed to number one on the Billboard charts.

Joplin was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Rolling Stone ranked Joplin number 46 on its 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She remains one of the top-selling musicians in the United States, with Recording Industry Association of America certifications of 18.5 million albums sold.

Tunes for Tuesday: Rocks!

Meet the Bad Boys of Rock and Roll!

Warning: If you are easily offended or have delicate sensibilities, this music may not be for you!

Aerosmith is an American rock band that formed in Boston in 1970.[ The group members included Steven Tyler (lead vocals), Joe Perry (guitar, vocals), Tom Hamilton (bass), Joey Kramer (drums), and Brad Whitford (guitar). Their style, rooted in blues-based hard rock, later incorporated pop-rock elements,[ heavy metal, and rhythm and blues. Aerosmith inspired many later up-and-coming rock artists. They are sometimes referred to as “the Bad Boys from Boston” or “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” The primary songwriting team of Tyler and Perry became known as the “Toxic Twins.”

Same Old Song and Dance (Gotta Move)

They were one of my favorite bands for many years, and I learned to play many of their songs. I loved the early stuff from their self-titled album, Aerosmith, or from Get Your Wings and Rocks!

Mama Kin (Nurburg, 1997)

It is hard to beat good live Rock and Roll. And I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Aerosmith in concert. However, to me, they were one of those bands that, for some reason, their studio albums were always so much better than their live performances. Hey, it happens. Boston was the same way. Maybe it was just that you could make out their music’s intricacies much better on a studio album.

Mother Popcorn (Live, James Brown Tribute)

I also enjoyed some of Aerosmith’s less typical musical workings. When I bought the album, Live Bootleg, their version of James Brown’s Mother Popcorn was just so much fun.

This was always another one of my favorites that didn’t seem to catch on with most listeners. But then, I don’t remember Aerosmith songs getting too much radio time. After all, they were “bad boys.”

Chip Away The Stone (Official Video)

The difference in the live and studio performances of their music is hard to ignore. I’m including two studio cuts here for comparison.

Too Bad – S.O.S. (Get your Wings)

Pandora’s Box (Get Your Wings)

Yep, that is why in the 1970’s, these guys were called the bad boys of Rock and Roll. And you can also see … the live versions just did quite cut the mustard.

Two songs that did get a lot of airtime were Dream On and Train Kept A-Rollin’. Train Kept A-Rollin’ was a great song, but I heard it so much on the radio over the years, it kind of lost its listen-a-bility for me.

Dream On is the Aerosmith classic everyone remembers and you still hear it on the radio today. So I will end this post with it.

Dream On (Official Video)

Now that’s some old-time Rock and Roll. Aerosmith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

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More Van Halen – Live on TV!

I was a huge Van Halen fan in the 70s and early 80s. I even liked some of the stuff they did when Sammy Hagar joined them. But, I much preferred the David Lee Roth period. Their self-titled first album shook the entire music universe.

Since the passing of Eddie Van Halen earlier this month, the internet is full of tributes, covers, memories, and concert footage. I was sifting through some of that when I discovered this gem! Eddie Van Halen lived the American Dream, rags to riches, putting in the sweat and hard work to succeed at his dream.

Filmed for Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2015, nine early Van Halen songs clearly illustrate why Eddie Halen was perhaps the best. This video features David Lee Roth reunited with the band! Alex Van Halen is on the drums, and Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s son, is on the base. And … this video ROCKS!

As one fan put it so eloquently …

Don’t cry because he’s gone,
Smile because he was here.
And we were fortunate enough to witness it

Jack Rajinder

Tunes for Tuesday: Unchained

The sound that started it all.

I was sitting in the back seat of a buddy’s Camaro, the Craig Powerplay combined with Jensen Triaxial speakers crushing my eardrums when the cassette tape changed. The next thing I heard was this!!

Eruption (2015 remastered)

I yelled, ‘Who the hell is that?’

My friend responded, “Van Halen.”

“Who’s the guitar player?” I asked.

“Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen,” he replied.

I had never heard anything like it before. In fact, there was nothing like it before. My mind was blown.

Turns our Eruption was simply Eddie’s warm-up exercise. Someone overheard him playing it to warm up and insisted that it was put on their first, self-titled, album.

Panama (Official Music Video)

This post is about Van Halen, and I am focusing on the original Van Halen with David Lee Roth. I always liked Sammy Hagar as well, especially in those early years with Montrose, etc. The Red Rocker could certainly rock. But even though Van Halen turned out some great music with Sammy Hagar fronting for them, it was just not my thing. I was never a big fan of Van Hagar.

Part of that may stem from a Van Hagar concert I went to in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the late 80s. The girl I was with and I got to the concert, and there was a huge banner up behind the stage that read “BLANK OFF ROTH.” Of course, it didn’t say BLANK. We just left; it ruined my whole experience.

Unchained (2015 Remastered)

From 1974 until 1985, Van Halen consisted of Eddie Van Halen (guitar), Alex Van Halen (drums). Michael Anthony (bass), and David Lee Roth (vocals). Van Halen was one of the most successful rock bands of the 1980s and is credited with returning hard rock to the music world’s forefront. The album 1984 sold over 10 million copies in the U.S.

I thought this was a great sound. No live performance, but somebody dubbed Van Halen and Roy Orbison together in Orbison’s classic, Pretty Woman. I thought this was pretty cool!

Pretty Woman (Van Halen and Roy Orbison)

Unfortunately, the sound quality of most of the live video of Van Halen is just not that great, so I am using remastered videos for most of the post.

Dance The Night Away (1979 Remastered)

Van Halen did have more commercial success with Sammy Hagar, scoring four U.S. number one, multiplatinum albums, and yes, a lot of the music was really great. I guess I just never got over that banner. And there was another difference for me. David Lee Roth was very clever with the sexual innuendo often found in Rock music (after all, rock and roll was simply another term for sex in the R&B world where it finds its roots), but Roth never really beat you over the head with it. Sammy Hagar was simply in your face with it. To me, it was just a lot less classy.

Ain’t Talking About Love (2009 Remastered)

Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Eddie Van Halen remembered

Eddie Van Halen, widely considered one of the greatest guitar players of all time, lost his battle with cancer on 10/6/2020. RIP.

Tunes for Tuesday: Young kids … Old Rock

And I don’t mean young kids in a disparaging way!

I just really do get such a kick seeing these younger rockers doing such a great job rockin’ out to the music of my generation. And some of them are really very good … great guitarists, great vocals, great drummers … just a really great sound.

A while ago I subscribed to a few channels by these kids on YouTube. I love classic rock, so it is great to listen to. And, it does my heart good to see these kids enjoying the music of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s!

Speaking of doing your Heart some good, check this young band called August out with their guest vocalist at a Battle of the Potomac band competition.

Barracuda (cover by August)

This band, Iron Cross, simply rocks. The guitarist, Andrei Cerbu, is freaking amazing and Andreea Munteanu can really belt out a song as well. Check this out!

Shoot to Thrill (cover by Iron Cross)

This is another Andrei Cerbu band (The guy must be really busy. He sure cranks out a lot of videos … and they are all tremendous and showcase a variety of young performers.

Don’t Treat Be Bad (cover by Shut Up & Kiss Me)

This next video is a young female drummer named Sina, who is absolutely phenomenal. This is her tribute to the legendary drummer for The Who, Keith Moon.

Keith Moon was not a conventional drummer. He did not play to establish a rhythm for the rest of the instruments. He played along with the vocals or the main melody of the song.

To Keith, drums were another lead instrument, and he used his incredible speed to place fills in places where they weren’t supposed to be … and he made them work brilliantly.

Won’t Get Fooled Again is full of examples of this. The combination of continually playing intricate fills while keeping the beat … with the added element of what is essentially a drum solo towards the end makes “Won’t Get Fooled Again” one of the most complex drumming performances ever recorded – and Sina crushes it! It is perfect! And that, my friends, is really amazing.

Most people can’t really appreciate how difficult this is to play.

I hope you can truly appreciate what you just saw! A flawless performance by a young lady doing a drum cover of an extremely difficult song by one of the best rock bands in the world and a drummer who is one of the very best in history.

She may very well be the first drummer in music history where the bands will need to audition for her!

Alright, I will end this one with one more of Andrei Cerbu’s collaborations. I really like these kids, and wish them the absolute best. They are simply fantastic performers with bright futures ahead of them. Check out this cover of Alannah Myles’ Black Velvet with drummer Sina, vocalist Victoria K, and Andrei again.

Black Velvet (Sina, Victoria K, and Adrei Cerbu)

Crap, okay! Just one more, How about a little GNR? This one features Andrei Cerbu again, but this time with vocalist Smaranda Marian.

I guess I should also include an original number by these kids as well. What the heck! After all this, what is one more?

Go Away (Iron Cross, original)

Okay, I have to make myself stop here. I could go on and on! So much great music … so little time!

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

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Tunes for Tuesday: Surrender

There was nothing cheap about Cheap Trick …

Cheap Trick is an American rock band formed in Rockford, Illinois, in 1973. The band’s classic lineup consisted of frontman Robin Zander, guitarist Rick Nielsen, bassist Tom Petersson, and drummer Bun E. Carlos.

Cheap Trick released its self-titled debut album in 1977. Later that same year, the band became a huge success in Japan with the release of its second album, In Color. The group achieved mainstream popularity in the US with its breakthrough album Cheap Trick: Live at Budokan, released in 1979. Cheap Trick reached the Top 10 in the US charts in 1979 with the Budokan live version of “I Want You to Want Me.”

I Want You to Want Me (Live from Budokan)

Cheap Trick topped the charts in 1988 with “The Flame.”

The Flame (Live Dayton, 1988)

Cheap Trick performed live more than 3,700 times and has sold more than 20 million albums. Throughout their career, Cheap Trick has experienced several resurgences of popularity.

One of my favorites in the late 1970s was Surrender. I had a college roommate who could jam this song on his fender Strat!

Surrender (Live From Budokan)

Cheap Trick toured Japan in April 0f 1978. The band was welcomed with a hysteria that hadn’t been seen since The Beatles. During the tour, Cheap Trick recorded two concerts at the Nippon Budokan. Ten tracks selected from both shows were compiled and released as a live album entitled Cheap Trick: Live at Budokan. This album was intended to be exclusive to Japan. Thankfully, sales were not limited to Japan.

Ain’t That a Shame (Live, 1980)

While perhaps you could classify Cheap Trick as a pop rock group, they did branch out into several other styles over their career.

Don’t Be Cruel (Live, 1988)

The band even danced on the fringes of heavy metal with songs like Gonna Raise Hell.

Gonna Raise Hell (Capitol Theatre, 1980)

On April 8, 2016, Cheap Trick was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

If you enjoyed this Tunes for Tuesday post, please take a few minutes and check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here!

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Hey, that’s me!

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!