Friday, October 30, 2009

Guest Post: Carolina

Happy Friday, bloggies!!
Today's guest post comes from the blogless
Carolina, but she's been a longtime reader of my blog.

It's her story about a lady she knows who has met tons of cool people through her then-husband's job! Here it is:

It was the fall of 1998 in a new subdivision of custom homes nestled in the trees of suburbia just a few miles away from a major metropolitan city. There was an area called an enclave – 3 streets of homes with limited access from the main road. So, it was a very quiet area with no through streets. If you were on one of these streets you either lived here or were visiting someone who did.

Since many of us were moving into our new homes at the same time, we had two factors in common that bonded us right away: we were new to the street and we had kids. So, very quickly several of the ladies decided to have a “ladies dinner” once a month and all women in the enclave were invited and we would break bread together and share some wine. The idea was to rotate hostesses so that eventually, we could all see each other’s home – a very “Martha Stewart” idea.

So, here we all are at Julia’s (her name has been changed) house for our monthly get-together. Part of the fun of these gatherings is getting to see how that particular person decorated their house. Some of these women were fabulously creative. So, someone asks Julia to give us a tour and she agrees. Sometimes these tours were just of the downstairs, but usually involved a quick peek upstairs to see game rooms, theater rooms, etc.

Someone asks if we can go upstairs and Julia hesitates for just a second and then says okay. Up we go.

We walk into the game room and everyone is stunned. The walls are filled with gold records and photographs, lots of photographs. All the records are from Journey. We are glancing at the photos and realize that our Julia (much younger) is in photos with lots of musicians including Boz Scaggs, ZZ Top, Steve Perry and other Journey members, and ohmygod is that Mick Jagger? Yes, it was. The photographs were beautiful, mostly black and white and all candid and intimate shots. Not your typical smile at the camera to prove you had a backstage pass. We were all overcome. We’re a group of soccer moms and we now have one among us who lived with the rock gods in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Julia shyly explained that her ex-husband was the tour manager for Journey for years and then added, it was a lifetime ago. She suggested we go downstairs and eat. We walked down the stairs in silence and then began to talk about what bonds each of us – our children. It was quite a surreal night in suburbia!

Awesome story, Carolina! Thanks for sharing. :)

Have you had any cool connections to famous people?!
I actually know a friend who is BFFs with Sara Fleetwood (Mick Fleetwood's ex-wife, Stevie's BFF, the namesake of FM's song "Sara") and my friend is moving out to California to LIVE with her! Crazy stuff. I'm expecting some Stevie shawls for Christmas. ;)

Have a great weekend yall!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's been a Carole King kind of a day over here.

Raise your hand if Tapestry is near and dear to your heart! *raises hand*
I listened to it four times in a row while studying this afternoon. Loves it.

If you're a big C.K. fan -- tell me, what album do I go to next??

I leave you with this lovely lil video -- "So Far Away":

Don't forget to come back on Friday for a guest post! Woocha!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Essential Christmas Albums

Okay, I know you guys are looking at that title like, "Whaaaaaat? It's not even Halloween yet! Why is this crazy lady talking about Christmas already?"
Well, my friends, it's about 50 degrees here right now and late last week, while studying for miderms, the hot chocolate was busted out. Along with the Christmas tunes.

Here are some Christmas albums that I've been listening to already:

James Taylor's voice on just his regular ol' albums makes me happy and calm.
Him singing Christmas songs? Pure bliss.

Amy Grant has several Christmas albums which makes it hard to choose just one. So I'm going to say that this one is a must-have since it's a compilation and has all the good ones. "Breath of Heaven" is beautiful.

Ray freakin' Charles. The particuarly amazing song on this one is "That Spirit of Christmas," from Christmas Vacation (the funniest movie ever, in case you didn't know).

Michael Buble needs to make a full Christmas album right now. This EP is only five songs, but it's so good. He's got a great voice for Christmas music -- he's kinda like the Bing of my generation (well, you know what I mean).

Speaking of Bing, Christmas can't be complete without him. This is some top notch Christmas music.

Here's one last one for ya:

I distinctly remember my mom having this CD and I'd always love singing along to Madonna's "Santa Baby" upstairs in our game room.

I always have more room for Christmas albums, so spill.
What are your December essentials?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Guest Post: Seano on Uriah Heep

Howdy, bloggies!

Today's guest post is from
I highly encourage you go over and check out his blog -- he just recently finished going through all the Beatles albums, giving very detailed notes and Youtube videos about each one. He has a true talent and you can learn so much from his posts!

Without furthur ado...

I was playing guitar at a backyard BBQ last summer and there was a guy who kept requesting older tunes. Each time he called one out, I was able to reproduce it. He then said, "OK, I'm going to stump you. Play 'The Wizard' by Uriah Heep."

I went right into it, without a pause, and he nearly lost his mind. No one else in the crowd (except him) had a clue what I was playing. He brought me a fresh beer and told me that this was one of his favorite records when he was a kid. So I went one better and told him that the guy who wrote the song sat with me and a friend and showed us exactly how to play it.

"No fucking way!"


(Cut to hazy flashback interlude with harp-laden, dream sequence music)

It was 1989, I was in university and mainstream music smelled worse than a rotted carp placed in your disc-player. You say that you don't remember the suckage? Allow me to refresh your memory with the "top songs" from that year:

1. Look Away, Chicago
2. My Prerogative, Bobby Brown
3. Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Poison
4. Straight Up, Paula Abdul
5. Miss You Much, Janet Jackson
6. Cold Hearted, Paula Abdul
7. Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler
8. Girl You Know Its True, Milli Vanilli
9. Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird, Will To Power
10. Giving You The Best That I Got, Anita Baker
11. Right Here Waiting, Richard Marx
12. Waiting For A Star To Fall, Boy Meets Girl
13. Lost In Your Eyes, Debbie Gibson
14. Don't Wanna Lose You, Gloria Estefan
15. Heavan, Warrant
16. Girl I'm Gonna Miss You, Milli Vanilli
17. The Look, Roxette
18. She Drives Me Crazy, Fine Young Cannibals
19. On Our Own, Bobby Brown
20. Two Hearts, Phil Collins
21. Blame It On The Rain, Milli Vanilli
22. Listen To Your Heart, Roxette
23. I'll Be There For You, Bon Jovi
24. If You Don't Know Me By Now, Simply Red
25. Like A Prayer, Madonna


In the midst of all this crap, my buddy and I would pass the time playing our guitars in the dorm, drinking, smoking and listening to GOOD music, which at the time was anything that was NOT on the list above. (think sixties/seventies, any genre) We were dating two sisters at that time and they violently hated the stuff we were into. They generally left us to our own devices when it came to going to live shows. When we heard that Uriah Heep was going to be doing a couple of nights at a local club, the news seemed too good to be true.

Poor Uriah Heep. They were always knocked as a "second-rate Deep Purple" because keyboards figured prominently in their sound. (which is unfair) Despite some great albums and success in the early 70s, they never really hit it big in North America and were relegated to has-been status by the end of the decade. As a teen metalhead, I got into them in 1983 after hearing Abominog and was advised to go back and check out their "classic" material.

It was well worth it.

To get primed for the show, we drank, smoked and watched an old Don Kirschner's Rock Concert set (on VHS tape) from '74, which featured the "classic" lineup.

We then proceeded to roll over to the the Crazy Horse, ordered more beer and got ready to be blown away. By this time, the band's lineup had drastically changed. Newcomer (and fellow Canadian) Bernie Shaw was now the lead singer, Phil Lanzon was on keys and Trevor Bolder (formerly Bowie's bassist in the Spiders from Mars) had slotted in to replace the dead and departed. Lee Kerslake (drummer on Ozzy's Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman albums) and guitarist Mick Box were the only ones left standing from the early seventies version of the group.

Didn't matter, as Shaw did note perfect imitations of David Byron and the band kicked throughout their sets. They had a new album called Raging Silence that they were promoting and they played a few cuts from that, though they mostly delivered the early material.

It was a devastatingly good show and we were positioned right in front of the stage, catching every nuance, buzzed and hollering so much that we practically lost our voices. All five musicians sang and the harmonies were brilliant. Highlights were "The Wizard", "Stealin'", "July Morning" and "The Way That It Is", though they could have did the alphabet all night and we would have been happy.

The great shame is that there couldn't have been more than 150 people there that night. Being a small club, they came out afterward and we walked up to Mick Box and told him how much we enjoyed the set. Seeing that we knew the tunes, he asked us to come back and meet everyone else. Keep in mind that these guys were my age now (early forties) and were playing music that was out of step with the times. They were genuinely happy to have younger people who knew their stuff note for note. I didn't realize this at the time and figured that we would go back, get a perfunctory "hello" and head home.

We hung out well past closing time. Trevor Bolder and I sat and talked for almost an hour. He told me all about the beginnings of the Spiders and how they came to play with Bowie, who was then virtually unknown, with only "Space Oddity" under his belt. The conversation really got going when I told him that I was a bass player, playing with a local group (we did university pub gigs). Ziggy Stardust and Suffragette City were in our set list, so I had studied and learned the lines he played on the record. He told me a few stories that I can't repeat here regarding some of the people that he played with. Both of us, it turned out, were Jack Bruce disciples. He also, like John Entwhistle (another common influence) played brass instruments as well. He told me that being a bassist, I would likely have to throw the instrument into the air and catch it between my teeth to get noticed on stage. It was quite an educational talk for me. He said that for him starting out with Bowie, it seemed like one week he was playing in a shitty little club and next he was onstage in the US in front of 20,000 people. It happened fast and went by in a blur.

Mick Box, for his part gave us a quick tutorial on how to play "The Wizard" properly. ("tune the E string to D, mate, and pick it like this")and Lee Kerslake went on the best rant that I ever witnessed regarding the music business. He said that he almost came to blows with a record company executive over the lack of attention given to their new record. He also had a few Ozzy stories that I can't print here. He and Bob Daisley (along with Randy Rhoads) played a large role in writing and arranging those tunes on Ozzy's first two (and best) solo LPs and were dumped before the Diary of a Madman tour. Lawsuits flew. Enough said about that.

He rejoined Uriah Heep shortly after.

All things considered, these guys loved to play and were very generous to hang out and share their road stories.

I have never been much for trying to meet famous people, so I don't have a wall of fame in my music room. When I have chanced to meet musicians that I respected, the aim was always to have a conversation and not to force them into a photo op or tell them that "they rocked". Perhaps sensing this, my buddy and I were treated like peers by these guys and, more importantly, they knew that two more kids were going to buy their new album and pass on the word.

Hard to believe that it's been twenty years. You always remember the people that genuinely love what they do and have respect for people that support their work.

Uriah Heep has just released a new disc called "Celebration" It features updated recordings of their 70s material. The lineup we met has remained intact, excepting Lee Kerslake who has left the band recently due to ill health. Check it out, if you like the band.

I'll be the first to honestly say that I had never heard of this band before, but I'm definitely checking them out now.
Have a great weekend, guys!

Oh yeah- if you're interested in writing a guest post here, please leave me a comment or feel free to email me at classicrockforthesoul[at]yahoo[dot]com.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Get up and dance!

Well guys, this is going to be a short post because I've got toooons to do this week!
Make sure to come back on Friday though for another special guest post! :)

For now, check out what song I woke up to this morning. It never fails to make me wanna get up and dance:

Oh, Mick. I love you and all your prissiness.

While searching around Youtube, I found tons of other artists covering this song.
I wouldn't really think a girl would sing this, but here is Colbie Caillat's version -- Colbie is Ken Caillat's daughter and she's kinda like the female version of Jack Johnson in terms of her singing style:

It's different, but I think it's alright.

What's a song that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and dance?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Guest Post: Whizkid on Concert Venues

It's Friday... you know what that means!
Guest blog post time! :)

Today, Whizkid (who, even with his amazing knowledge of R&R and amazing stories, is blogless) shares with us his favorite concert venue. Read on to hear about it and then share your favorite venue. Enjoy and thanks for sharing with us, Whizkid!

I Want To Go Home With the Armadillo…
What’s your favorite concert venue? Is it the place where you saw your favorite band? A place where the acoustics are good? Where you like the ambiance, the people, the intimacy, or for that matter, the adult beverages? Or is it the place where you have that special memory with that special person?

For me, it’s the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas. Or as we called it: “The ‘Dillo.” From 1970 to 1980 it was the center of the musical world in the city that has since become world renown as a hotbed for music, new artists, and the annual SXSW festival. For the last half of the ‘70s, I lived in Austin and, in turn, at The ‘Dillo. I was privileged to see literally hundreds of local and national music artists of all kinds… rock, country, jazz, and classical. Bands came from all over the world just to play there. It’s something that just couldn’t happen in today’s music business.

The ‘Dillo had it all…except the acoustics. They were terrible. But no one cared. We had unlimited pitchers of Lone Star beer to drink as we sat on the concrete floor of the old metal-roofed skating rink…a floor covered with a cheap, tattered outdoor carpet. It was uncomfortable and usually hot. But literally ten feet in front of us might be B.B. King wailing away on Lucille or the triple-guitars of Lynyrd Skynyrd or the sweet sounds of Steely Dan. The place oozed ambiance and hipness and pot smoke. It was the place in Austin to see and be seen. It was an Austin icon.

Some of my favorite concerts I saw at The ‘Dillo were: Toto, Journey (before Steve Perry!), ZZ Top, Boz Scaggs, Jeff Beck, Edgar Winter, Gino Vannelli, a local band called Too Smooth, The Kinks, The Police, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Ted Nugent, Golden Earring (remember “Radar Love”?), and AC/DC (their first show ever in the USA). It wasn’t unusual for me to show up there two or three times a week. Tickets were usually $5 or $10 even for the biggest acts.

Another thing that was unique was that The ‘Dillo had several artists on staff to create concert posters. Every single concert had its own unique poster art. They turned out hundreds of posters and flyers and they are collector’s items today, fetching hundreds of dollars. The artwork was terrific and one of the things everyone looked forward to seeing. Here are a few examples, but you can find many more. Just Google “armadillo world headquarters posters.”

So, I want to hear from you. What’s your favorite concert venue? And---if you’re out there---I’d especially like to hear from anyone who got to go to The ‘Dillo.

Have a fabulous weekend, bloggies!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"It Doesn't Matter Anymore"

Hope everyone had a good weekend!
I was gone for the weekend so I'm working on getting caught up.

For now, check out this lovely video featuring Linda Ronstadt singing the oldie-but-goodie "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" by Mr. Buddy Holly:

Story of my life.

Have a good rest of the week!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Guest Post: Layla's Classic Rock

Alright peeps, today I'm proud to present a truly wonderful story brought to you by Layla from Layla's Classic Rock. This lady is fabulous - she was one of my very first blog readers and I ended up winning a saaaweet shirt in one of her contests.

So here she is telling us about when she met LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM. Yes, that's right. Layla has met LB!! How fantastic. Here's what went down, in her own words:

It was a late summer afternoon and I was sitting on the boardwalk with my dog, Scooter. Scooter was one of those dogs everyone stopped to pet, he was just cool. I noticed this guy with wild hair wearing these paisley blue pants and a white shirt walking towards us. He was hot. He stopped and pet Scooter and sat on the bench by me. We introduced ourselves. When he said his name was Lindsey I tried to act cool. I thought he looked like Lindsey Buckingham but what would he be doing here in Laguna Beach? We talked a bit and he said "where can you get a good beer?" I said "The White House" we walked over there but then went to the Saloon instead so we could sit outside with Scooter. He was nice and we talked about Laguna Beach and he never brought up who he was and I didn't want to since he didn't. I gave him the history of Laguna and then he paid for my beer said it was nice meeting me and Scooter and he split. I ran home and told my roomates and of course they did not believe me, but I know it was him. It was like he was avoiding being known but I KNOW it was him.

Super jealous, right?
Bloggies, he was probably lookin' a little something like this that fine day:

Thanks for sharing that cool story, Layla!!

Everybody have a good weekend!! I'm heading home for my 5-day weekend :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bye bye, DSOTM

So we all know that Dark Side of the Moon was on the Billboard 200 for over 14 years. Yeah. Crazy, right? See here:

As you can see, Pink Floyd had a huge lead (almost 5 years) on runner-up good ol' Johnny Mathis! Wow.

Well, this day back in 1988 marks the day of it finally bowing out of the charts.

If you haven't seen the Classic Albums episode of the making of DSOTM, check it out! It's very interesting. Here, I'll help you out. A user on Youtube has up the entire episode in HD. Here's part one:

Oh, stay tuned tomorrow for a very special guest post from one of the nicest ladies around this blogosphere... Layla!

Monday, October 5, 2009

When the lights go down in the city...

...and the sun shines on the bay
Oh I want to be there in my city...

Alright so I just watched Journey on Oprah today.* So naturally, I've been listening to Journey (Steve's Journey and Arnel's Journey) for the past hour while working on homework.

I love this song... it makes me really want to go back to San Francisco. According to my parents, when my family & I were there one summer when I was young on one of our road trips, I cried when we had to drive away. I want to go back sometime soon!
So, here's "Lights" with Arnel. Close your eyes, and it's Steve Perry. Minus the HUGE ego, of course.


So I was thinking about having a guest post on Fridays. It would be a time for you, my reader, to get a chance to tell a story on my blog. It can be about a concert, an artist, an album, a life-changing music experience... basically anything you want that's related to music in some way. What do you think? Who would be interested? I love hearing everyone's stories - especially anything in the '70s and '80s since I feel I got completely gypped on those decades. Anyway, let me know your thoughts!!

*No, I don't watch Oprah on a regular basis -- this was an exception.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Birthday to Lindsey Buckingham!

^Look at dem curls! So cute :)
Lindsey Buckingham turns the big 6-0 today!! Fleetwood Mac kicks off their greatest hits tour (round two) overseas in a couple weeks. I know I'm completely biased when I say this, but LB is soooo underrated as a guitarist. This little blog post pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject: LB Underrated

I'mma leave you with some muy fantastico guitar work by Linds:


What's not to love? (Besides all the abusiveness. But there's classes for that kind of stuff! Oh, and the fact that you'd never be able to completely trust him... his poor wife. She is one trusting lady.)

And from the first night of the current tour back in March -- check out this massive solo:

The boy's still got it, wouldn't ya say?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

RANT: Rock and Roll Hall of Stupidity

Thanks, guys for all the positive comments! I'm glad to be back.
I'm still playing with my banner, so I'll let you guys know when it's 100% done.

Okay, I know a lot of you guys have already been biatching about the 2010 R&R Hall of Fame nominees, so now it's my turn. The R&R Hall of Fame has turned into one of stupidity. Here's why:

The Chantels
Jimmy Cliff (... who?)
The Hollies
LL Cool J (more on this insanity later)
Darlene Love
Laura Nyro
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Stooges
Donna Summer

WTH. This hall of fame inducted its first round of artists in 1986, and KISS is just now getting inducted? Twenty-three years later??? I really don't understand how a mega-popular band like that is just now getting inducted.

And LL Cool J? Really? Even rappers don't like this guy. He's horrible.
The only ones that I think truly deserve to be in there are The Chantels (hey, they were a big influence on future black girl groups - don't kid yourself... you know you like some '60s doo wop!), KISS, and The Hollies. Genesis is on the fence.
RHCP should have to wait 15 or 20 years after they become an "inactive" band like so many other big '70s and '80s bands had to.
Unfortunately for those bands, some are still waiting...

Bad Company
Deep Purple
Jethro Tull
The Moody Blues

^And those are just a few. You've got to me kidding me! Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks that those yahoos at the Hall of Fame are complete idiots -- it's turned into a thug and wannabe exhibit over there. Is there something in the water in Cleveland? I demand that we stick to pop rock, classic rock, soft rock, heavy rock, arena rock, blues rock, jazz rock, country rock, prog rock, southern rock...! Let's leave gangsta beats and disco balls outta the equation, capish?

It only took them until 1995 to induct Led Zeppelin -- aren't they like the universally accepted greatest hard rock band of all time? That should have been our first clue that these voters were loonie, folks.

Let's have more of this:

And less of this nonsense:

If y'all will let me take Mr. Peresman's job (he's the president and CEO of this hall of stupidity), I promise I'll put in only legit artists. And find a way to kick Run-DMC and LL Cool J to the curb.

At this rate, they'll be letting in Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lady Gag-Me, and Amy Winehouse any year now. Sheesh.