Monday, June 29, 2009

It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here...

It's June 29, 1968. Pink Floyd has just released A Saucerful of Secrets.
Syd Barrett's last PF album.

I'm probably the only one who looks way too into the personal history of bands... (It's kind of my thing though. I find it interesting.)

But this song makes me sad.
It's Syd slipping far, far away into dark places:
"I don't care if the sun don't shine,
And I don't care if nothing is mine

If you want to be further depressed (or if you just want to see a super young looking Pink Floyd), check out this video.

P.S. Really enjoyed everyone's comments on the Instrumentals post... I looked each and every one of them up on Youtube - you guys have some good tastes!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Favorite Instrumentals?

I'm sitting here going through my Europe pictures while jamming out to Traffic's "Glad" which got me thinking...

Rock instrumentals... what are some of your favorites?
In addition to "Glad", off the top of my head, I love:
"Eruption" - Van Halen
"Any Colour You Like" - Pink Floyd (from DSOTM)

Pink Floyd has tons more, and there's some good ones by The Who and Led Zeppelin as well.

And, probably my most favorite:

What about you? What's your favorite rock instrumental?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two living legends... one live experience

First things first.
As we all know by now, Michael Jackson has died. I'm not going to say much about it. Yes, it's sad. I can respect his music from his Jackson 5 days and during the '80s. Besides that, I don't have much to say about the man. However, no one can doubt that Thriller is the best-selling album of all time.

Another death happened today... Farrah Fawcett. We all knew it was coming, but it's still so sad. Ryan O'Neal never got to marry her. :( If her son wasn't in the position he's in right now (i.e. jail) then he would have been able to have been by her side in her final moments. I really hope he turns his life around, for the sake of his late mother.

Enough depressing stuff, okay?
Onto a concert review... Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood was last night! And it was amazing!! Nothing short of spectacular.

The huge, huge, huge surprise of the night: "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys"!!! This was the first time this tour (which consists of only 14 dates) that Winwood has played this epic song. What did he replace? Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind". When everyone cleared the stage after the rockin' "Forever Man", Winwood took to the piano. I was getting ready for "Georgia." Well imagine the shock when Winwood started playing the opening piano notes of "Low Spark"! Surely this is just a teaser. No, it's true! He's really going to sing "Low Spark"! No freaking way! No one was expecting this. It was quite a performance and honestly, out of the whole night, it got the best response from the audience. Winwood seemed truly pleased that he decided to play it, as he got a standing ovation. He was very appreciative.

"Can't Find My Way Home" was also very, very good. They played a long version of Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile" which was eerily amazing. Very cool song and Winwood's vocals were golden the whole night. Clapton's voice has held up quite well through the years as well.

They came out for the encore, "Cocaine" and "Dear Mr. Fantasy", which were both awesome. What a great night!! These guys still have it.
Winwood talked to the audience a little bit before blowing us all away with "Low Spark", however it was noticeable that Clapton didn't say anything to us (besides, of course, "thank you" after each song) which was kind of strange.

But nonetheless, he's a superb guitar player. Everyone knows about the "Clapton is God" slogan written on London subway walls back in the '60s. Yeah, well those people knew what they were talking about. And Clapton proves it every second he is on stage.
P.S. Winwood is KILLER on guitar! Who knew?

It's so cool to think that when some of you guys were my age, you saw legends such as Clapton and Winwood in concert. And here I am seeing them!

Full set list:
01. Had To Cry Today
02. Low Down
03. After Midnight
04. Presence of the Lord
05. Sleeping in the Ground
06. Glad
07. Well Alright
08. Tough Luck Blues
09. Pearly Queen
10. There's A River
11. Forever Man
12. Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys
13. Driftin' [acoustic]
14. How Long Blues
15. Layla [acoustic]
16. Can't Find My Way Home
17. Split Decision
18. Voodoo Chile
Encore: Cocaine; Dear Mr. Fantasy

I've got several video clips I recorded up on my Youtube. They've got great sound and a really nice, stable picture (if I may say so myself!). Here's some I've embedded for you guys.

"After Midnight":

"Presence of the Lord":

"Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys":


I'm in the process of uploading "Can't Find My Way Home" and "Voodoo Chile" onto Youtube, so if you want to check back later for those, here's my Youtube channel:

Sorry for the mother of a blog post... it was just such a great night! I wish you all could see them. If you didn't catch this tour, go get the Live from Madison Square Garden DVD that was recently released. I've got a copy coming on Blu ray and I'm eager to see it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Back in black!

Wow! Finally home. I feel like I've been gone for about a month.
Oh how I missed America. It was a great trip and loads of fun, but there's nothing like this country.

Some misconceptions about Britain/Ireland (if anyone reading this lives in the aforementioned area, please skip ahead):

1) "British people are fashionable" - False. They dress just as poorly as we do. They aren't over there wearing the latest and greatest fashions. They're wearing exactly what we are: tshirts, jeans, sneakers; leggings with skirts; gladiator sandals; oversized handbags; oversized sunglasses; skinny jeans. It's all the same.

2) "They have so many more drink options over there" - False. In fact, I believe it to be worse than America. You go into a restaurant over there and they have maybe three different types of beer. And the wine is either red or white. You get what they happen to have available. I guess if you really want a good drink selection, you've got to go to Germany or something. But England, Scotland, even Ireland doesn't have much variety. Don't even get me started on the Guinness...

3) Other random thoughts: There's no English muffins whatsoever. They really like paninis over there. Water is pretty hard to come by. Their bottled water tastes very strange - has lots of minerals that we aren't used to drinking. Ice is even harder to come by. If you're lucky, you'll get two cubes in your Coke. Also, Coke and Dr. Pepper there are made with real sugar which tastes okay but only for awhile. Candy (chocolate especially) isn't good either. Hardly anyone in London speaks English (you hear lots of other languages... it truly is a melting pot of nationalities. More so than even NYC, I think.). I felt like I was living in a mirrored world having to be on the left side of the street/sidewalk.

Okay, I'm not a total Debbie Downer... I did have lots of fun and saw some pretty cool things! Castles, cathedrals, gardens... oh my!

Let's stick to rock and roll though.

In London, we ate at Bill Wyman's Sticky Fingers restaurant. Yum-o! For that type of place, you'd expect the food to be just average. It was actually really good! Lots of cool memorabilia too.

Went to Madame Tussauds - waited an hour and 15 minutes to get in, but it was so worth it. It's kind of creepy how lifelike they all looked! You can touch them/take pictures with them all you want.

Some peeps you may recognize...

At the Dominion Theatre, they're doing a Queen musical (we opted for Wicked instead, which was awesome!)...

Went on a Beatles walking tour of London which was really interesting. For them not actually having their start in London, there sure is quite a bit of history there regarding them.
Paul McCartney's offices in Soho:

Trident Sound Studios, where they recorded "Hey Jude":

Other famous recordings done at Trident:

The crosswalk:

Abbey Road Studios:

It was a fast paced but fun vacation - now I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation! Back to real life and the mountain of laundry is calling my name...
I've decided not to do a review on the .38 Special/REO Speedwagon/Styx concert from a couple weeks ago. It was really good and that's all anyone really cares about anyways. (If you want to see a couple short clips from that concert, check out my Youtube videos here.) However, tomorrow night is Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood, so expect a full review on that! Very excited :)

I'm behind on all your blogs so I'll need to catch up in the next couple of days. Glad to be back, guys!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Goodbye for 2+ weeks!

Okay everybody, I'm off to the U.K.!

Just got back from .38 Special/REO Speedwagon/Styx concert - it was a pretty good show!
I'll post some short video clips I took on my Youtube when I get back in the country. I'll also try to give a little review!

I'll be back in 2+ weeks! The day after we get back from our trip, my dad and I will be going to Clapton/Winwood. So if you don't see me for awhile, it's not because I've stopped blogging... I'll just be a little busy! But when I get back I'm going to post a mega-blog with 2 concert reviews and all my fun R&R stuff I'll be doing in London!

Hope yall stay happy and healthy while I'm gone! :o)

Friday, June 5, 2009

... Cold comfort for change?

On this exact day in 1975, while Pink Floyd was in the studio recording Wish You Were Here, they got an unexpected visitor... Syd Barrett.
There have been multiple Pink Floyd specials on VH1 and I think they talked about this in one special called "Which One's Pink?" - In any case, here's what happened at the studio that day...

The band was in the middle of listening back to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" when an overweight man with no hair (including eyebrows) walked into the studio. He was jumping up and down brushing his teeth. At first they had no idea who he was.

It took awhile to realize that it was their old friend and former bandmate Syd Barrett.
(Talking about it in this TV special, Roger Waters and David Gilmour said they both started crying.)
Syd wanted to know if he could do anything to help, despite the fact that he hadn't seen his bandmates in 5 years plus the album was almost finished.

I think the whole Syd Barrett story is quite disturbing. It's very interesting though. Go look on his Wiki page and you'll get kind of creeped out.

He died just three years ago, however Roger Waters has said that the band had done all their grieving for him back when they kicked him out of the band due to his erratic behavior (primairly due to psychadelic drugs).

P.S. If you want to see a picture of what Syd looked like that day when he roamed into the studio, then check out this link: I'm not posting the actual picture on here because it is kind of disturbing. Just warning ya!
P.P.S. Here's "Wish You Were Here" from David Gilmour and the late, great Richard Wright (go to :30 if you want to skip the annoying audience applause!):

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Beatles Rock Band and an important note!

For all you gaming people out there who are fans of the Beatles, I'm sure you've already heard of this... they're getting their own Rock Band game! Pretty exciting. I've never played Rock Band... I think that whole thing skipped over me. I was into Nintendo64 and a little Xbox back when, but haven't been interested since.

Anywho, here's the trailer. Looks like they did a great job with details:
**On another note... I am leaving for a two-week vacation to the U.K. on Monday!!! With the business of packing, a cousin's graduation and a concert the night before (yes, I'm going to see .38 Special/Styx/REO Speedwagon!), I will probably only be blogging one more time before I leave.
When I return, plan to see a review of the aforementioned concert plus TONS of pictures of the fun rock and roll stuff I go to in London!! We're taking a Beatles tour, going to Bill Wyman's Sticky Fingers Cafe, and going to the O2 Centre's new permanent exhibition called British Music Experience. STAY TUNED!!! :D