Tag: Rock and Roll

Tunes for Tuesday: Monday, Monday!

The Mamas and the Papas were an American folk rock vocal group formed in 1965 and performed until 1968. The group was a defining force in the music scene of the counterculture of the 1960s. The band was comprised of John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, and Michelle Phillips (born Holly Gilliam). Their unique sound was based on harmonic vocal arrangements by John Phillips, the songwriter, musician, and leader of the group who adapted folk to the new beat style of the early 1960s.

California Dreamin’ (Released 1965)

The song was written in 1963 while John Phillips and Michelle Phillips were living in New York City during an unusually cold winter. Michelle was missing sunny California. During this period, John and Michelle Phillips were members of the folk group the New Journeymen, which evolved into The Mamas and the Papas.

Monday, Monday (Released 1966)

This song was written by John Phillips and recorded by the Mamas and the Papas in 1966. Background instruments were played by members of The Wrecking Crew. This song was the group’s only #1 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and the first time this had been achieved by a recording act containing both genders.

I Saw Her Again (Released 1966)

Recorded in 1966 and co-written by band members John Phillips and Denny Doherty, this song peaked at number one on the RPM Canadian Singles Chart, number 11 on the UK Singles Chart, and number five on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart the week of July 30, 1966.

Dedicated To The One I Love (Released 1967)

This song, written by Lowman Pauling and Ralph Bass, became a hit for The “5” Royales, The Shirelles, and The Mamas and the Papas. The “5” Royales version was re-released in 1961 and charted at number 81 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1967, The Mamas and the Papas released their more popular cover version on the Dunhill label, and it climbed to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The number 1 spot was taken by “Happy Together” by The Turtles.

Creeque Alley (Release 1967)

Creeque Alley is an autobiographical hit single written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips in 1967, telling how the group was formed and its early years. The song peaked at #5 on the US Billboard pop singles chart the week of Memorial Day in 1967. It reached #9 on the UK charts and #4 on the Australian and Canadian charts.

The lyrics mention, directly or indirectly, many artists and bands who were part of the folk music scene at the time. Several locations significant to The Mamas and the Papas’ story are also mentioned. Michelle is referred to in the lyrics by her nickname “Michi” (“John and Michi were getting kind of itchy, just to leave the folk music behind”).

The song contains a repeated line that ends the first three verses, “No one’s getting fat, ‘cept Mama Cass,” a reference to the fact Elliot was making the most money, not to her life long battle with obesity. Cass Elliot thought it was hilarious. The final lyric line, “And California Dreamin’ is becoming a reality”, is a reference to their hit song “California Dreamin'”, and marks the point at which the group achieved its breakthrough, leaving behind the tough lifestyle described in the rest of the song.

Dream A Little Dream Of Me (Released 1968)

“Dream a Little Dream of Me” is a song from1931 written by Fabian Andre and Wilbur Schwandt with lyrics by Gus Kahn. It was first recorded in February 1931 by Ozzie Nelson. A popular standard, it has seen more than 60 other versions recorded. One of the highest chart ratings for this song was by The Mamas and the Papas in 1968 with Cass Elliot on lead vocals.

There was only one Mama Cass!

Cass Elliot (born Ellen Naomi Cohen; September 19, 1941 – July 29, 1974), also known as Mama Cass, was an American singer and actress best known for her time with the Mamas and the Papas. After the group broke up, she released five solo albums. In 1998, she was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her work with the Mamas and the Papas.

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

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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!

And, if you like reading an award-winning action & adventure thriller, check out my newest novel, Montagnard. It got a great review from Kirkus Reviews!

Tunes for Tuesday: Blues Deluxe

Joe Bonamassa is probably the most gifted guitarist I have ever seen and listened to in my life. I saw him play in Knoxville, Tennessee and was utterly blown away. It was about a three-hour set. In the middle, the band went off stage for a break. Bonamassa just grabbed an acoustic guitar and continued to amaze the audience. I have never before or since heard anyone play an acoustic guitar the way he did.

Mountain Time (Live From The Royal Albert Hall, 2019)

Now that is a grand performance.

Blues Deluxe (2007)

While a blues guitarist, Joe Bonamassa also covers some really great rock as well. However, Led Zeppelin, despite their moniker as the founders of Heavy Metal, was essentially a blues-based band. Here Bonamassa performs one of my all-time favorite blues songs by Zeppelin.

I Can’t Quit You Baby (KTBA Cruise 2019)

Your really need to watch this video to the end. It is freaking amazing! A great showcase of both Joe Bonamassa and Jimmy Page’s guitar virtuosity.

For those of you who, like me, love to take the guitar ride, here is an awesome guitar duel between Joe Bonamassa, Tommy Emanuel, and Josh Smith. Check this shit out!

I will just end this post here … with this great video, Remembering BB King, that Joe Bonamassa did for his mentor and friend, BB King.

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!

And, if you happen to love reading great action-adventure stories, check out my award-winning novel, Montagnard.

Tunes for Tuesday: Have Some Heart!

Ah, those Wilson sisters! They sure could rock!

Heart is an American rock band formed in 1970 in Seattle, Washington by Steve Fossen (bass guitar), Roger Fisher (guitar), David Belzer (keyboards), and Jeff Johnson (drums). Heart is actually an evolution from an existing band called White Heart. The Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy, joined the band in 1973 as vocalists. Also, Nancy became an essential part of the band’s guitar-driven sound.

Magic Man (1976)

The band sold over 35 million records worldwide. They produced 20 top forty singles and seven top-10 albums. They also collected four Grammy nominations. Heart hit the Billboard Charts with singles and top ten albums in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2010s: a four-decade run of top ten albums that set a record for a female-fronted band.

Barracuda (1977)

I saw Heart in concert shortly after getting out of the Army in 1983. I am not sure exactly which year; that was some time ago. I am guessing 84 or 85. I do remember it being one hell of a show! I remember getting my daughter a Heart cassette tape for a birthday present one year, and being somewhat shattered when her reaction was … “meh!” LOL!

Little Queen (1977)

I have to admit, in my teen years, I had quite a crush on Nancy Wilson. Both sisters were quite beautiful, and Anne sure could sing. Possibly one of the greatest female rock vocalists ever! But there was something about Nancy that stole my heart. I guess it was the guitar!

Listen to this …

Crazy On You

Heart also had a real knack for great Zeppelin covers! Here is one shining example!

Black Dog (Led Zeppelin Cover, 2013)

Okay, can’t end it there. Here’s a couple more!

Heart has graced us with an interesting variety of songs and sounds. Everything from hard rock to heavy metal, and pop rock to folk songs.

Never (Official Music Video)

Heart was a multi-dimensional rock band with great talent … great musicians, great vocals, and great music. In 2006, Ann Wilson was listed as one of the “Top Heavy Metal Vocalists of All Time” by Hit Parader magazine and Heart was ranked number 57 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.”

These Dreams (Filmed 2002, Life in Seattle)

Decades later, and Nancy Wilson still has it!

At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on April 18, 2013, the original members of Heart (the Wilson Sisters, Howard Leese, Michael Derosier, Steve Fossen, and Roger Fisher) reunited for the first time in 34 years to play “Crazy on You.”

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!

And, if you love reading a great action-adventure story, check out my award-winning novel, Montagnard.

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!

And, if you love a good action-adventure story, check out the novel, Montagnard, by award-winning author, D.C. Gilbert.

Hey, that’s me!

A Little More “Silence” Please!

Remember Simon and Garfunkel?

Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk-rock duo founded by singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel, and they were one of the best-selling music groups of the 1960s. Some of their biggest hits include “The Sound of Silence” (1965), “Mrs. Robinson” (1968), “The Boxer” (1969), and “Bridge over Troubled Water” (1970), which all reached number one on singles charts worldwide.

Enter Edward Van Halen!

This little jewel just popped up on my YouTube feed! Simon and Garfunkel performing “Sound of Silence” on stage in Mountain View, California, in November of 1993, with a guest appearance by none other than Eddie Van Halen himself.

What the heck?

I know … right? While I always liked Simon and Garfunkel a lot and think Eddie Van Halen is a fantastic guitarist (Paul Simon is no slouch on guitar either.), I thought they would mix like oil and vinegar. However, I was amazed by the combination. It was different, but at the same time, I thought it worked exceptionally well!

What do you think?

Tunes for Tuesday: Everything’s Archie!

The Archies

The first rock and roll album I was given as a gift came from my Grandparents. That album was Everything’s Archie, released in 1969. They were a bit shocked when I pulled out my Steppenwolf album, Born to Be Wild. But still, it’s the thought that counts, and anyway, The Archies could rock!

The Archies is a fictional American band featured in the animated TV series, The Archie Show. Within the context of the series, the group was founded by Archie Andrews (vocalist/guitarist), Reggie Mantle (bassist), Forsythe “Jughead” Jones (drummer), Veronica Lodge (vocalist/keyboardist) and Betty Cooper (vocalist/percussionist).

Sugar Sugar (1969)

“Sugar, Sugar” is one of 16 animated music segments created to be shown on “The Archie Comedy Hour” on CBS-TV in 1969. The song was also included on The Archies’ 2nd album, “Everything’s Archie.” The single was released the same year and quickly rose to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for 4 weeks, giving The Archies their first gold record

Melody Hill

This was the B-side to the 45 that had Sugar Sugar on the A-side. Does anyone else remember 45 records?

This song was also on the Everything’s Archie album. You could cut the cardboard record with this song on it off the back of a Honeycombs cereal box.

Love Light (1969)

This song was always one of my favorites on the Everything Archies album.

Inside Out, Upside Down

From the album Sugar, Sugar – Greatest Hist released on 12/01/2010.

And for those of you who have never seen a 45 or listened to a song in MONO, here you are. Check it out!

Feelin’ So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y. – D.O.O.) (1968)

Now, that is definitely a trip bubblegum rock memory lane. It just doesn’t get much better than that for light-hearted, feel-good, fun rock & roll!!

If you enjoyed this blissful little run down memory lane, please take a few minutes and check out some of my other Tunes for Tuesday blog posts by clicking here!

And also, if you enjoy a good action-adventure story, check out my new novel, Montagnard, on Amazon.com! It just won the July 2020 Literary Titan Gold Book Award. Yep! Yours truly is now an award winning author!

Tunes for Tuesday: Hysteria

Def Leppard is an English rock group formed in Sheffield in 1977and is considered part of the new wave of British heavy metal. Since 1992, Def Leppard has consisted of Joe Elliott (lead vocals), Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals), Rick Allen (drums, backing vocals), Phil Collen (guitars, backing vocals), and Vivian Campbell (guitars, backing vocals). This line-up has been the band’s longest-running. And, these boys don’t fool around.

Foolin

The band’s most significant commercial success came between the early 1980s and the early 1990s. Their 1981 album, High ‘n’ Dry, was produced by Mutt Lange, who helped them begin to define their style, and the album’s leading track, “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” became one of the first rock videos played on MTV in 1982.

Bringin’ on the Heartbreak (Version 1)

Many like to compliment the vocal harmonic genius of other groups such as Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Queen, The Mamas & the Papas, or The Beach Boys. And nobody would argue they are not great all great. However, Def Leppard put out a lot of music with terrific vocal harmonies as well. I think it mostly went unrecognized because, well, it is British metal after all. Metal doesn’t harmonize … does it?

Photograph

As one of the world’s best-selling rock music artists, Def Leppard has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and have two albums with RIAA diamond certification, they are Pyromania and Hysteria.

Near the end of recording the album Hysteria, during a production break, lead singer Joe Elliott was jamming with a riff he had come up with two weeks earlier on an acoustic guitar. Producer Mutt Lange, expressing great liking of it, suggested that it be developed into another song. That riff went on to become a song that could instantly transform the shyest, most introverted, prim and proper young lady into an amazingly sexy pole dancer wannabe.

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Some of you may have noticed that in the earlier videos, the drummer had two arms. On December 31, 1984, drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash on the A57 in the hills near the band’s home city of Sheffield.

Allen and his Dutch girlfriend, Miriam Barendsen, were in his Corvette when it swerved off the road on a sharp bend and went through a drystone wall. Despite the severity of the accident, Allen was determined to continuing his role as Def Leppard’s drummer. and realized that he could use his legs to do some of the drumming work previously done with his arms.

All the members of the band supported Allen’s recovery efforts and never sought a replacement. Allen was given a separate studio to practice his new drums. After a few months, the band gathered together to hear Allen perform the intro to the Led Zeppelin version of “When The Levee Breaks.” His progress was amazing. Allen’s comeback was announced at the 1986 Monsters of Rock festival in England, with an emotionally charged ovation after Rick Allen’s reintroduction by Joe Elliott.

Hysteria

On 9 October 2018, Def Leppard received an induction nomination from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to the 1,000 members of the Hall of Fame voting committee, the general public also had an opportunity to participate in the “Fan Vote”.

On 13 December 2018, Def Leppard was named in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. The band won the Klipsch Audio Fan Vote, beating 14 other nominees with 547,647 general public votes (119,803 and 28% more than second vote receiver Stevie Nicks.

Not everybody realizes that these guys are not just crowd-pleasers. They also embody such amazing technical excellence. They have it all. I regard all these guys as great friends and kind of part of my family, that’s why it’s so important for me to be here. I wouldn’t have let anybody else do this.

Brian May, inducting Def Leppard into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2001, Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story, a made for television movie, was released. I have seen it a couple of time. It’s not too bad for a rock documentary.

Anyway, I will sum it up by saying these guys from Sheffield, England were a pretty damn fantastic rock band, with some real musical talent, and under-appreciated vocal harmonies. Are you getting it?

Armageddon it (Live)

If you’ve got any Rock and Roll Soul, please take a few minutes and check out some of my other Tunes for Tuesday blog posts by clicking here!

And also, if you enjoy reading a good action-adventure story, check out my new novel, Montagnard, on Amazon.com! It’s getting really rave reviews.

Tunes for Tuesday: Skynyrd!

Lynyrd Skynrd is an American rock band that formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1964. They performed under different names and with varying line-ups for several years, finally settling on the name Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969.

Growing up in Massachusetts, I was aware of Lynyrd Skynyrd, but I did not fully appreciate the southern rock genre until I later moved to Tennessee. However, once I began to listen more, I was hooked. These good ole boys set the standard for southern rock with genius-level musical talent combined with the ability to write songs that spoke to the hearts of American listeners across this nation.

So much of their music was just good foot-stomping fun. This was always one of my favorites. I still sing along with it today when nobody is in earshot!

Gimme Three Steps (Knebworth Fair, 1976)

I sometimes think life would be so much better for us all if people would take to heart the simple advice in this next song, another of my favorites.

Simple Man (Oakland Coliseum Stadium, 1977)

Following a concert at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, South Carolina, on October 20, 1977, the band boarded a chartered Convair CV-240 bound for Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where they were scheduled to appear at LSU the following night. Running out of fuel, the plan crashed in a heavily forested area five miles northeast of Gillsburg, Mississippi.

Ronnie Van Zant. Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, the assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray were all killed on impact. Other band members, including Collins, Rossington, Wilkeson, Powell, Pyle, and Hawkins, as well as the tour manager Ron Eckerman and several road crew members, suffered severe injuries.

The band later reformed with Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother, Johnny (formally of .38 Special), taking over as lead vocalist. In the video below, Johnny Van Zant and the boys are performing a rare live version of The Ballad of Curtis Lowe. The original Skynyrd line-up only played the song once on stage. It was not played again until the tribute tour with Johnny.

The Ballad of Curtis Lowe (Virginia, 1998)

How’s about a little boogie … Lynyrd Skynyrd style!

I Know A Little (Coca Cola Star Lake Amphitheater, 1997)

While in their early years, the band had a reputation for partying hard and brawling on occasion, one thing they always got right was the music!

You Got That Right (1977, Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ)

Of course, in today’s “oh so perpetually offended” society, I am sure Lynyrd Skynyrd would catch hell because of the rebel flags and “southern whiteness” of their music. It’s really too bad. These good ole boys put out some great music that appealed to rockers of all races, religions, and creeds.

I think the narrow-mindedness of so many people today deprives them of some really great opportunities to expand their cultural awareness. Oh well!

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

And also, if you enjoy reading a good action-adventure story, check out my new novel, Montagnard, on Amazon.com! It’s getting really rave reviews.