Monday, March 30, 2009

"The blues are what I've turned to, what has given me inspiration and relief in all the trials of my life."

Blues-rock guitarist, and legend Eric Clapton celebrates his 64th birthday today.
Eric Patrick Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England, on March 30, 1945. His real father was a Canadian pilot but he didn't find that out until he was 53. He was brought up by his grandmother because his mother couldn't look after him - in fact, he thought that his grandmother was actually his real mother, and that his mother was his sister (that's gotta fuck you up).

Although Clapton has varied his musical style throughout his career, it has always remained grounded in the blues. Yet, in spite of this focus, he is credited as an innovator in a wide variety of genres. These include blues-rock (with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and the Yardbirds) and psychedelic rock (with Cream).

Clapton played the guitar solo on George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" creating a precedent. No other outside musician had ever had such a privilege.Incidentally, both George Harrison and Clapton were respectively married to model Pattie Boyd. Eric wrote the songs "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight" about her. She and Clapton eventually married, nine years after he recorded "Layla".

Eric Clapton is the only artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times: as a member of The Yardbirds (1992); as a member of Cream (1993); and as a solo performer (2000).

Below is a photo of Eric jamming with the Allman Brothers Band's Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Please Stand By

Posting will resume shortly.
I just don't feel up to blogging right now.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

AIG and America's New Free Enterprise

Oh here comes the change. Our President hires a chief tax collector who is either a tax cheat or someone who can't figure out the tax code he has to enforce. Meanwhile, hundreds of executives at AIG get multi million dollar bonus direct from the tax payers. It looks like free enterprise as we know it is dead. Failed companies get richer, successful companies get poorer and the poor and middle class keep losing jobs and there savings. G-d Bless You Capitalism, you'll be missed!~Jackie Mason

"Would you people wake up! AIG is a freaking smoke screen to take your attention away from the real criminals in this country...

... The freaking government!"

The government is playing a game with you and no matter what freaking number they roll, YOU FREAKING LOSE!!! You're worried about AIG. I'd be more worried about the GOV than AIG!! Would you wake up! The only way we're going to stop this is to all grab a freaking musket and charge the freaking White House!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through"

Bassist Phil Lesh is celebrating his 69th birthday today.
Phil is best known for his work with the Grateful Dead.

Happy Birthday Phil!!!

The photos link to music, but you already knew that.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Way Out West"

On 1966's Way Out West, legendary entertainer Mae West rocks and rolls to an especially selected repertoire of the latest rock'n'roll hits (The Beatles, The Guess Who and Percy Sledge among others.), backed by the dynamic young group Somebody's Chyldren (creating energetic, raw garage rock raveups).

Her voice is torrid. Her beat is sensational. Her rhythm is like no other rhythm in the business. When she sings these emotional lyrics, they take on deep and feelingful meaning
.(from the album's liner notes)
I discovered this gem over at WFMU's Beware of the Blog - a must-visit for music fans.

Track Listings:

Treat Him Right
When a Man Loves a Woman
You Turn Me On
Shakin All Over
If You Gotta Go
Lover, Please Don't Fight

Day Tripper
Twist and Shout
Boom Boom
Mae Day

(download album here)

The album is quite campy, and perhaps a bit cheesy, but not so much as Burt Ward's 1966 single
Boy Wonder I Love You, a children's record released at the height of Batmania.
It features Burt reading "fan letters" over the musical backing of...The Mothers of Invention. Frank Zappa even wrote and arranged the song, as well as conducting what would come to be known as The Boy Wonder Sessions.

But wait! There's more.

I've saved the best for last.
In 1966, a toy company in Newark, New Jersey released a children's record called Batman and Robin to cash in on the popular t.v. series.
The music on the LP was credited to "The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale," but in fact the band was one of the greatest uncredited session combos of all time, including the core of Sun Ra's Arkestra and Al Kooper's Blues Project.
All the tracks were based on public domain items like Chopin's Polonaise Op. 53, the horn theme from Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony and the love theme from Romeo and Juliet, and generic rock riffs.

99 is 77 !!

Happy Birthday!

Actress Barbara Feldon (born Barbara Hall) was born on March 12, 1932.

Feldon was cast as "Agent 99" in the spy comedy series Get Smart.
Barbara had a successful career as a model and commercial star before being spotted by Buck Henry, who wrote the part of 99 specifically for her. Feldon signed on to do the pilot and just three more episodes, but after liking the pilot, she committed to starring in the series.

This commercial for Top Brass Dandruff prevention was what people recalled of her early days in acting. Though the commercial is only about a minute long, it may have been the inspiration for her character when writers Mel Brooks and Buck Henry were creating 99.

Friday, March 6, 2009

"... he led a Big Band just like Tommy Dorsey, in a presentation that was downright orchestral - except Bob conducted with a fiddle bow."

Texas Playboy, and western swing legend Bob Wills was born 104 years ago today.
"Bob's own personality was a musical instrument. It was the hook, the thing that put a smile on any listener's face. It was Bob's magnetic stage presence, with his constant Cheshire grin and rhythmic regal bearing, that brought the most basic element out of the music. It may have had roots in blues, jazz, and working man's folk music, but it was always happy. A sense of joy could even be found in sad songs like Wills classics, 'Yearning,' 'Bubbles In My Beer,' and 'Lily Dale.' It had to be happy, it was for dancing!"~Ray Benson

(click photos for sample)

Although he passed on May 13, 1975, Wills' musical legacy has endured. His style influenced performers Buck Owens and Merle Haggard and helped to spawn a style of music now known as the Bakersfield Sound (Bakersfield, California was one of Wills' regular stops in his heyday).

In addition to being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1968, Bob Wills was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Early Influence category along with the Texas Playboys in 1999, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
hear (another) sample:

Plenty more where that came from.

David Gilmour Turns 63

Guitarist David Gilmour, of Pink Floyd fame, celebrates his 63rd birthday today.

Gilmour, born in Cambridge, England,was approached in December 1967 by drummer Nick Mason, who asked if he would be interested in joining Pink Floyd , which he did in January 1968 (Jeff Beck was considered but found too expensive.).
Contrary to popular belief, he did not replace Syd Barrett as a member of Pink Floyd.He was used to fill in for Syd Barrett's guitar parts when the front man was unable to take a consistent part in Floyd's live performances.

David Gilmour is best known for his lead guitar work. Gilmour's solo style is often characterised by blues-influenced phrasing, expressive note bends and sustain.

Apart from music, Gilmour is also an experienced pilot and aviation enthusiast. Under the aegis of his company, Intrepid Aviation, he had amassed an impressive collection of historical aircraft.

After 1983's The Final Cut, bandmembers went their separate ways till 1987, when Gilmour attempted to revive the band with Nick Mason. A bitter legal dispute with Roger Waters (who left the band in 1985) ensued, but Gilmour and Mason achieved the legal right to release an album as Pink Floyd (Waters, however, gained the rights to some traditional Pink Floyd imagery, including almost all of The Wall).
All of the members of Pink Floyd have released solo albums which have met with varying degrees of commercial and critical success.