Tag: Classic Rock

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.

Tunes for Tuesday: Amazing Young Musicians

Rock and Roll! I loved it as a kid. Still do. The other day a young female guitarist showed up on my YouTube feed. Not sure why, except that I sometime listen to “guitar centric” classic rock on YouTube.

I like to take what I call that … “guitar ride.”

Anyway, I was blown away.

Wow!

A lot of the music kids listen to today is lost on me. I guess it is the absence of a rocking guitar lead! And here was this young Japanese girl rockin’ out to the kind of music I grew up on and still love to listen to!

I started looking around and came up with some pretty amazing videos of kids keeping rock and roll alive. I just had to share some of them here! As a teenager, Led Zeppelin was by far my favorite.

Check out this cover by three young rockers Sina, Alyona Yarushina, and Andrei Cerbu!

John Henry Bonham would be proud!

I thought the drummer was really great (actually, all three of them really are) and then I discovered this drummer, Sina, has her own YouTube channel and has become quite a sensation.

If she’d just add a little Cow Bell here and there! LOL!

Anyway, check out this Boston cover!

Okay, I just had to do one more Zeppelin tune by this trio. Check out this same trio doing Whole Lotta Love!

I looked around a little more and found this young lady, Tina. This girl can shred and has quite a library displaying her talent on her own YouTube channel. Metal, Classic Rock, Classical, you name it!

I chose this one because this was always one of my guitar favorite solos ever!

I noticed girls seem to be leading the pack in keeping rack and roll alive! Where are the guys? I am assuming they are out there to. Maybe just not as prevalent on YouTube or I am not using the right search terms?

I did find one kid who is really amazing. This one is for my good friends in East Tennessee!

And how about WJM, a power-trio of three amazing kids performing at halftime at a Stanford game! I understand this group performed at some kind of UN function and repeated that performance at this Stanford game.

It does my heart good to know that the rock of my generation still has an audience and a group of talented young musicians to carry it into the future! It adds credence to that old line, Rock and Roll will never die!

Hope you enjoyed some of these videos!

AND KEEP ON ROCKIN IN THE FREE WORLD!

Hey Baby: Tunes for Tuesday!

I am the Great White Buffalo and I play an American-made Gibson guitar that can blow your head clean off at 100 paces.

Ted Nugent

Yes, I am a Classic Rocker!

I have been a fan of classic Rock and Roll since I listened to my first Deep Purple album, Machine Head, at a friend’s house. I was probably in seventh grade. Smoke on the Water just blew me away!

I remember about this same time … I was maybe 12 or 13 … I assume my aunt and my grandparents had asked my parents what to get me for Christmas. And, I also assume they were told, “He likes rock and roll music. An LP record might make a really great gift.”

That year I received an Archies album and a Partridge Family album, which of course I had to play. When my grandmother asked what I liked to listen to, I played one of my albums for them. They were a bit taken back by Steppenwolf!

Cowbells? Okay! But I like a great guitar riff!

Of course, I also played (or played at) the guitar. I took lesson for a few years, but it was all “Moon River” and “Java” kinds of stuff. I wanted to ROCK! A few of us in the neighborhood formed a band and eventually learned to play bad versions of Taking of Business by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple, Get Back by The Beatles, Baby Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult, and Riding the Storm Out by REO Speedwagon. Yes, we sucked … but it was a lot of fun.

I was inspired by several great guitarists over the years. These included Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Joe Perry, Alex Lifeson, Slash, Eddie Van Halen, and Chuck Berry.

Another inspiration, and perhaps one of my favorites, was the Motor City Madman himself, Ted Nugent! I can still almost belt out a decent Cat Scratch Fever or Stranglehold. I even remember a little Hey Baby.

Hey Baby

As wild and crazy as Ted Nugent may be, I always admired his pro-Freedom, pro-Second Amendment, and anti-drug and alcohol messages. Of course, many would just argue he is already wild enough and just doesn’t need drugs or alcohol to be uninhibited. Uncle Nuge would argue the opposite is true. Drugs and alcohol will keep you from reaching your true potential.

You tell’em Ted!

Stranglehold Live 2017

And for all you Red Blooded Americans out there, here’s a little bit of

Just What the Doctor Ordered!

So, there you go! A patriotic, 100% red-blooded American guitarist who enjoys his life, his liberty, and his wild pursuit of happiness! He is definitely living the dream. We should all be so lucky!

As Ted Nugent would say …

I’m healthy, have a loving and adorable family, great hunting dogs, a gravity defying musical career and most importantly, fuzzy-headed idiots hate me.

Ted Nugent

How could it get any better than that?