Tag: Rock and Roll

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: Time for a little magic!

I remember when The Police exploded on the scene with their new wave, reggae rock, post-punk, pop sound, and all you could say was, WOW!

A British rock band, The Police formed in London in 1977. The best-remembered line-up included Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar), Andy Summers (Guitar), and Stewart Copeland (drums, percussion). Their debut album Outlandos D’Amour released in 1978, rose to #6 on the UK Albums Chart. The second album, Reggatta de Blanc, released in 1979, was the first of four consecutive #1 albums in the UK and Australia,

Their first number one hit in the UK was Message in a Bottle.

Message in a Bottle (Synchronicity Concert, 1983)

It just got better and better from there. I still will occasionally belt out a little bit of … ROX – anne … when nobody is in ear shot!

Roxanne (Live in 1979)

I really like this long version of the song that includes some interesting bass lines and vocal variations.

And Stewart Copeland is certainly no slouch as a percussionist. Check this video out.

Wrapped Around Your Finger (Tokyo Dome, 2008)

I always liked this song. I must admit I have been wrapped around a few female fingers in my life. I do try to keep it from happening again, unless of course, there is an equal and mutual wrapping.

Andy Summers is also quite a guitarist winning two Grammy Awards for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, one in 19979 for Regatta de Blanc and one in 1980 for Behind My Camel. He is also a member of the Guitar Player Magazine Hall of Fame

Every Breath You Take (Atlanta, 1983)

Unfortunately, as is so often the case when you put such great talent together in one group, there is friction. The Police were no different. According to an interview with Stewart Copeland, they fought a great deal.

We got along great as long as we didn’t talk about music, but we had to so we fought. And people say Andy was like some buffer for the two of us. Bullshit. Andy was his own little volcano. His own sharp point of the triangle. We all fought.

Copeland

But when they took a break in their fighting, it was certainly magic.

Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic (Live in Rio de Janeiro, 2007)

The Police were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2003.

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Tunes for Tuesday: Easy Livin’

Uriah Heep is an English rock band formed in London in 1969. The group’s origins go back to 1967 when 19-year-old guitarist Mick Box formed a band in Brentwood called Hogwash and began playing in local clubs and pubs. A few lineup changes and the band changed its name to Spice. From the very beginning, Mick Box avoided playing covers, preferring to do something original.

A second name change came shortly after that. The group chose the name, Uriah Heep, after the well-known Charles Dickens character from David Copperfield. At this time, Dickens was everywhere because people were observing the 100th anniversary of his death, and to the members of the band, it seemed a fitting tribute.

Easy Livin’ (1972)

Uriah Heep’s 1970 debut album, …Very ‘Eavy …Very ‘Umble, was released in the United States as Uriah Heep.

The band suffered through some difficult times and more line-up changes, but by 1973 had fleshed out a fairly stable and productive line-up producing a fairly unique sound. This line-up consisted of Mick Box, Ken Hensley, Gary Thain, David Byron, and Lee Kerslake.

Uriah Heep now show-cased Hensley’s driving organ background overlaid with a heavy guitar sound, complemented by David Byron’s theatrical, dynamic vocals that soared above the band’s thunderous backdrop.

July Morning (1972)

The last four minutes or so of July Morning feature of a virtuosic organ solo. And as a historical note, the odd sounding calliope riffs are played by Manfred Mann who, according to the album credits, is appearing for the first time with his Moog synthesizer.

Sunrise (1973, Live at the Budokan in Tokyo)

The line-up with David Bryon on vocals in perhaps the most memorable and loved by loyal Uriah Heep’s fans.

And yes, some acoustic and jazz elements also found their way into the Uriah Heep mix.

The Wizard (remastered 2017)

One of my favorites, Lady in Black, is a song from their 1971 album, Salisbury, and is credited to Ken Hensley. It tells the tale of a man wandering through war-torn darkness and encountering a goddess-like entity who consoles him. It is often praised, by fans and critics alike, as Hensley’s most poetic work.

Lady in Black (1971)

I could not find a live video of Sweet Lorraine with good audio quality, but it is another in my “Heep” of favorites by this 1970s band.

Sweet Lorraine (remastered 2017)

Uriah Heep, a unique band with a unique sound that paved the way for many musical talents of the future. Definitely still one of my favorites.

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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.