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!
The Who are a British rock band that formed in London in 1984. The original line-up consisted of Roger Daltrey (Vocals), Pete Townshend (Guitar, Vocals), John Entwistle (Bass), and Keith Moon (Drums).
The Who performing a full live set in front of 600,000 people at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970 at 2:00 a.m. on August 30th. It was one of the most memorable concerts of their career.
Pinball Wizard (Live at the Isle of Wight, 1970)
The Who were one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide and releasing countless amazing songs.
I saw The Who at the Frankfurt Festhalle in April of 1980. It was one of the most amazing concerts I have ever attended. There was no warm-up band. It was two-plus solid hours of The Who, and there was not a bad song in the set. You literally could not sit down! Kenny Jones was the drummer by this time … almost two years after Keith Moon’s tragic death.
Take a look at the set list. Do you see a bad song
I can’t Explain
Behind Blue Eyes
Dreaming From The Waist
Who Are You
See Me Feel Me
Long Live Rock
I Can See For Miles
Won’t Get Fooled Again
The Real me
My favorite Album has always been Who’s Next. There is not a bad song on it. Just one great number after another. This has always been one of my favorites.
Behind Blue Eyes (Kilburn 1977)
The Who performing Won’t Get Fooled Again at Live Aid in front of 72,000 people in Wembley Stadium, London, on July 13, 1985. The event was organized by Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for the Ethiopian famine disaster. Broadcast across the world, the concert was seen by approximately 40% of the world’s population.
Won’t Get Fooled Again (Live Aid 1985)
The Who’s many significant contributions to rock music include the development of the Marshall stack, large PA systems, use of the synthesizer, Entwistle and Moon’s unique playing styles, Townshend’s feedback, and power chord guitar technique, and the development of the rock opera.
Who Are You (LA Second Set, 1989)
Tommy was perhaps the most famous rock opera written by The Who. And it was undoubtedly remarkable. However, I think a lot of its popularity stemmed from appearances by Elton John and Tina Turner.
My favorite rock opera was always Quadrophenia, the story of a young working-class “mod” named Jimmy who likes drugs, beach fights, and romance, and finds himself in a real struggle … searching for a sense of self-worth. A lot of great music came out of Quadrophenia. This was one of my favorites.
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!
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!
Okay, so even a hard rocker like me has a softer side. And just to show I am not just all about screaming guitars, leather, and heavy metal, I will introduce you to my softer side. We’ll start with a trip all the way back to Woodstock (the 1994 edition) and Mr. Joe Cocker.
Feelin’ Alright (Woodstock, 1994)
There is just something about Joe’s raspy voice, stage mannerism, and the way he belts out a song that just makes you feel alright.
Of course, if you jumped into a time-traveling hot tub, and went back to 1969 and the original Woodstock, Joe Cocker would be singing there as well. Same raspy voice (maybe just a touch less so), same stage mannerism, and all those hippie friends! It is clear Joe Cocker sings straight from his soul!
With A Little Help From My Friends (Woodstock, 1969)
And, I do have my romantic side. I really love Joe Cocker’s version of this classic song. Sometimes it is a little hard for me too listen to because it always reminds me of the amazing lady I somehow let get away. But, still … it is an amazing song Joe sings from the heart.
You Are So Beautiful (Loreley Amphitheatre, 1983)
Of course, maybe the secret to getting over that situation can be found in another Joe Cocker song …
Unchain My Heart (Limelight Club, Cologne, Germany, 2002)
Anyway, I have always been a big fan of Joe Cocker, his music, and the way he sings it. And, I’ll just keep on keeping on. After all, someday, maybe my baby will write me a letter.
The Letter (Berlin, 2010)
Or … maybe not.
Either way, life goes on. And besides, I still can listen to some really great music to pass the time.
I hope you will check out some of my other posts by clicking here!
Ladies and Gentlemen! The greatest rock band in the world … The Rolling Stones!
It took a while for me to come to appreciate The Rolling Stones. But once I did, I was a huge Stones fan, all the way up to the release of Some Girls in 1978. That’s where they lost me. I felt they had lost their roots and had gone commercial. I stick with the early stuff!
The Rolling Stones formed in London in 1962 and were at the forefront of the British Invasion. The original line up of the band included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman.
You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Recorded live in London, 1968)
Over the years, I acquired many of their early albums, including Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Goats Head Soup, It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll, Black and Blue, and the live album Hot Rocks.
Several Stones songs were very popular with the soldiers serving in Vietnam including Gimme Shelter, Get Off My Cloud, Sympathy For The Devil, and Paint It Black.
Sympathy For The Devil (Tokyo Dome, 1990)
Like many bands, The Stones have had a few personnel changes over the year. Mick Taylor replaced Brian Jones, who died about a month later. Taylor was then replaced by Ron Wood. Current band members are still Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood.
Gimme Shelter (Bridges to Babylon Tour, 1998)
The Rolling Stones have performed over 2,000 concerts around the world beginning at the Marquee Club in London in 1962. During the 2006 Bigger Bang tour, the Stones performed in Rio de Janeiro for an audience of 1.5 million people
Paint It Black (Hyde Park, 2013)
During Middle School dances, the song Angie was the best slow dance song where we’d get out on the gym floor, belly rub, and try to steal a kiss from our girlfriends when the chaperones weren’t looking.
Angie (Goats Head Soup, 1973)
During my first year of college at Southeastern Massachusetts University, we had a guy in our dorm suite who was a great Mick Jagger impersonator. He would wrap a scarf around his neck, put on a Stones album, and keep us entertained for a long time.
I had another friend at SMU who embroidered his own Rolling Stones logo on the back of his denim jacket. He actually did a great job. It looked good. How’s that for DIY?
Were The Rolling Stones the greatest rock band in the world?
While you take the time to consider this, just go ahead and
Get Off My Cloud (1965)
And the list could go on and on; Wild Horses, Jumping Jack Flash, Mothers Little Helper, It’s Only Rock and Roll, Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown, Dance Little Sister, Satisfaction, Midnight Rambler, Let’s Spend the Night Together, Street Fighting Man, Brown Sugar, etc., etc., etc.
Many will argue over whether The Rolling Stone was the greatest rock and roll band in the world or not. But bear in mind, the videos in this post cover 50 years. And, the audiences didn’t seem to be getting any smaller.
Grand Funk Railroad was another one of those fantastic power trios I became so fascinated with over the years. Like Rush, ZZ Top, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, or The Police; just a guitar, bass, and drums. But when a power trio is excellent, that is all you need!
Of course, they would occasionally bring other musicians as needed for specific compositions.
The band, formed by Mark Farner (guitar, vocals), Don Brewer (drums, vocals), and Mel Schacher (bass), were very popular in the 1970s. The first Grand Funk album I purchased was Grand Funk Railroad /Caught In The Act. It was a great album containing most of my favorites.
I’m Your Captain (Shea Stadium, 1971)
Grand Funk Railroad put out a lot of really great music over their years. And, they lasted for a very long time. I saw Grand Funk Railroad on July 1, 2007, at the Dick Clark American Bandstand in Pigeon Forge, TN. While unfortunately, it was not the original line-up or even still a power trio, the music was still awesome.
Some Kind of Wonderful (1975)
Now I ask you! What is there not to like about that? But my very favorite song by Grand Funk Railroad has always been this one. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out why.
We’re An American Band (Live at the Forum Los Angeles, 1974)
Then there was this one. It was just plain fun. Absolutely everyone was doing The Locomotion!
The Locomotion (Who the heck knows!)
I guess the cool thing for me was that this was An American Band that could really put out some Footstompin’ Music!
Footstompin’ Music (Live, 1970s)
And for me, that was really hard to beat!
And here is a little fun trivia fact for all you Rock History buffs out there. It took The Beatles several weeks to sell out Shea Stadium. It took Grand Funk Railroad just 72 hours!
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.
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!
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.
Led Zeppelin was my favorite rock group of all time. In high school, I wore Led Zeppelin T-shirts, had a Led Zeppelin belt buckle, and wanted to play a guitar like Jimmy Page.
I was lucky to see them in concert at the Frankfurt Festhalle in Germany in 1980. Unfortunately, John Bonham, one of rock’s greatest drummers passed away later in 1980 from a tragic asphyxiation accident.
The Thunder of the Gods was laid to rest on October 12, 1980.
The British rock group, Led Zeppelin, was formed in London in 1968 with vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham.
They got the name for this band when Jimmy Page made a comment that their “new” band would probably fly like a “lead balloon.”
Zeppelin is often referred to as the beginning of Heavy Metal rock, and yes, they certainly could rock. Especially with Jimmy Page’s heavy guitar-driven sound. But much of their music defied classification, blending many influences, including blues and folk music.
In fact, Zeppelin’s music was deeply rooted in the blues. The influence of American blues artists such as Muddy Waters and Skip James was very evident on their first two albums
Many of their best songs are blues, and a large number are acoustic. Much of what I considered their best music never received my air time because it was outside the mainstream of commercial rock and roll.
Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
This famous folk song written about 1959 by American singer Anne Bredon is about a guy who is letting his lady know that he’s about to “Ramble On” and leave her. It was also recorded by Joan Baez in 1962 and released on her live album, In Concert.
The Rain Song
One of my personal Zeppelin favorites, this was written in collaboration by all four Zeppelin members after George Harrison, a huge fan, told Zeppelin drummer, Bonham, that “the trouble with Led Zeppelin is that they don’t do any ballads.”
Bonham took this comment to the rest of the band, who worked with him to put this song together. It is one of the few Zeppelin songs where all four members shared the composer credit.
Robert Plant has stated this song is one of his best vocal performances with Led Zeppelin. He uses the seasons as a metaphor, starting with the springtime of his love and ending with the coldness of winter, a song about the changing seasons of love.
Upon us all, a little rain must fall.
I can’t Quit You Babe
This is based on a Blues song by Willie Dixon that he wrote for Otis Rush, who recorded it in 1956. Many of Led Zeppelin’s songs were influenced by old blues or folk songs.
Many musicians consider this one of Led Zeppelin’s technically strongest performances, but Jimmy Page admitted that it’s certainly not perfect. In an interview with Guitar Player magazine in 1977, Page stated, “there are mistakes in it, but it doesn’t make any difference. I’ll always leave the mistakes in. I can’t help it. The timing bits on the A and B flat parts are right, though it might sound wrong. The timing just sounds off. But there are some wrong notes. You’ve got to be reasonably honest about it.”
Rock and Roll
As the title suggests, the song is based on one of the most popular structures in rock and roll. That is the 12-bar blues progression (in A). The phrase “Rock and Roll” was a term rhythm and blues musicians used as a metaphor for sex.
The song, Rock and Roll, has been covered by many other artists, including Def Leppard, Heart, and even the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2001, this song was recorded by Double Trouble (Stevie Ray Vaughan’s backup band), for their 2001 album, Been A Long Time with Susan Tedeschi singing lead on the track.
The band often used this either as an encore or to open live shows from 1971-1975.
“The Biggest Band in the World” 1971 – 1975
Many consider Led Zeppelin to be one of the most successful, innovative, and influential bands in the history of rock music.
Rock critic Mikal Gilmore said, “Led Zeppelin—talented, complex, grasping, beautiful and dangerous—made one of the most enduring bodies of composition and performance in twentieth-century music, despite everything they had to overpower, including themselves”
Led Zeppelin influenced hard rock and heavy metal bands such as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Rush, Queen, Aerosmith, the Black Crowes, and Megadeth as well as progressive metal bands like Tool and Dream Theater.
They also influenced some early punk and post-punk bands, such as The Ramones, Joy Division and the Cult.
Zeppelin was also a significant influence on the development of alternative rock artists who adapted elements from the “Zeppelin sound” of the mid-1970s, including the Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.
Bands and artists from many diverse genres have acknowledged the influence of Led Zeppelin. These include Madonna, Shakira, Lady Gaga, Kesha, and Katie Melua.
Too many achievements to count!
Led Zeppelin has achieved many honors and awards throughout their career. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
Among the band’s awards are an American Music Award in 2005, and the Polar Music Prize in 2006.
Led Zeppelin was the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and four of their recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
In the US, Zeppelin has been awarded five Diamond albums, as well as fourteen Multi-Platinum, four Platinum and one Gold album.
In the UK, they have five Multi-Platinum, six Platinum, one Gold, and four Silver albums.
In addition to listing five of their albums among “the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, Rolling Stone named Led Zeppelin the 14th-greatest artist of all time in 2004.
Perhaps the biggest accolade for me was when, not too many years ago, a lady friend and I went to see a Led Zeppelin cover band called Get the Led Out (they are excellent by the way). This wonderful lady was not a big rock and roll fan, being more into classical music and opera, and I am sure going to humor me. During one song, the band got to one of my favorite parts, where the melody shifts key, tempo, and everything else. She looked at me and said, “Oh my God … that was brilliant!”
So, grab your iPhone, stereo, boombox, radio, or whatever you listen to music with, and take a few minutes to get the Led out!