When I was in high school back in the mid-60s, my favorite rock groups were the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, as well as the Beach Boys and the Four Seasons. When I went off to college in 1966, my taste in music changed. I became a huge fan of Bob Dylan, the Kinks and Fleetwood Mac. Not the Fleetwood Mac that became very popular 15 years later, but rather Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac. You see, although the band is named for the drummer and bass player, it was originally a Peter Green sub-band. How Peter lost that band is a very tragic story which I will tell in just a few minutes.
Fleetwood Mac from 1967 to 1970 was predominantly a blues band. In fact, had Peter Green not suffered his “tragic accident”, I think Peter would be discussed in the same breath with Eric Clapton as the greatest British blues guitarist. To see what I mean, click here. The first song you will hear is “Black Magic woman.” Most people associate that song with Santana hat I mean, go to YouTube and search “Fleetwood Mac live 1970.” But it was Peter Green who wrote this song and Fleetwood Mac who originally recorded it. To this day, Fleetwood Mac’s version is still my favorite version.
Continue reading Oh Well
For those of you who were never fans of the Allman Brothers band, the title of this post is a tribute to one of my favorite songs of theirs, “In memory of Elizabeth Reed.” The Allman Brothers were an iconic band for my generation. They were still playing together, with some new personnel, a few years ago. I saw them on TV (one of the music stations on cable) front a performance in 2013 or 2014. Given the fact that a number of the members of the band where into their 60s then, I doubt they performed all that often, which is way sad.
The Allman Brothers were basically a blues band. Greg was the lead vocalist and keyboard player. Boy, did he have the voice for the blues: kinda low and gravelly. The band has gone through more personnel changes over the last 50 years than even the Rolling Stones. Their first two losses there were the loss of Duane Allman to a motorcycle accident just when the band was getting popular. Duane also appeared on the Derek and the Dominoes album. It is his guitar that is at the forefront on “Layla.” For someone to outperform Eric Clapton is really doing something and Duane does on that song.
Continue reading In Memory of Greg Allman
I cannot remember a time in my life when music was not an important part of who and what I am. It all started when I was five or six years old. My parents hired a piano teacher to come to the house to teach me how to play. I took lessons for the next 10 years or so. I actually got pretty good at it. The only problem I had was that I could never really memorize anything. I remember when I was in junior high school, my piano teacher wanted me to learn to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” Actually, it was only the first movement that was more than my poor musical memory could handle. She wanted me to play this piece for the annual recital her students presented every May at the Willow Grove Methodist church. I ended up playing it, but I had to have the sheet music in front of me. Sight reading was never a problem. In fact, in my heyday I could pick up pretty much any popular tune and play it respectably the first time I saw the music. In high school I had a book of piano arrangements of Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” album. I loved playing that album and singing along. My parents hated it. LOL
Speaking of singing, in both junior high school and high school I sang in the choir. I started out as an alto and by my senior year I was a baritone. I wasn’t great, nowhere near as good as my daughter Heidi was in high school, but I managed to stay in the choir all those years. I still sing when the mood hits me, but now I sound like a frog with a sore throat. LOL! That’s what 50 years of smoking will do to you. I actually started smoking in junior high school and I suspect that had at least a small part in my voice changing so much.
Continue reading The Music Of My Life
A visitor took offense at my comment about how I thought Yanni was not all that good of a choice for the first Westerner to play the Taj Mahal, accusing me of slandering Yanni. First, let me set this visitor straight: slander is an oral falsehood. If what I said had been false, it would be libel. But I was expressing my opinion, and if you do not approve of it, well, tough. An opinion is neither libel nor slander. However, sending an email with a false accusation of slander might just qualify as libel. I suggest this person learn to be more cautious about how free she is with her accusations. It might come back and bite her in the ass.
In a recent interview in Tokyo, Jimmy Page, the brilliant lead guitarist for Led Zeppelin, the legendary British rock band, said that a world tour by the band would more than likely occur later this year or some time next year. For those of us who have been waiting nearly thirty years for the band to reunite, this is most welcome news.\r\n
Zeppelin broke up in 1980 after the death of their drummer, John Bonham, and had not done a full cobcert until December of 2007 when they did a two-hour concert in London as a tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records. John Bonham was replaced by his son Jason, who no doubt will be the drummer when Zeppelin does go on tour. Continue reading The Zeppelin Flies Again
I was inspired to write this post after talking to my fifteen-year-old daughter about a problem she was having at school with some of the bullies who pick on her because she is different than they are. Heidi is in ninth grade, which technically is a freshman in high school, but the ninth graders in the local school district are still in the junior high school building. That is the result of poor long range planning by the former administration of the district.
We recently got a new superintendent and some new members to the school board, who, we can only hope, show more foresight than the people they replaced. Unfortunately, We live in the Bible Belt and an area that is heavily Republican. The combination of fundamentalist religion and fundamentalist politics tends to not place a real high emphasis on quality public education. Continue reading Of Goths, Satanism, and Teenage Quicksand