Friday, September 24, 2010
Tomorrow will mark 30 years since the passing of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, clearly one of the greatest rock drummers ever. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones called it quits after Bonham's death. The three reunited for Live Aid (with Tony Tompson and Phil Collins on drums) and a benefit in London three years ago with John's son Jason on drums. Rumors persist that there will be future one-offs or even a reunion tour, but in all likelihood it seems doubtful.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I saw Chen play with Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger over the summer. He's really good and he's really loud. In many ways I prefer Chen over Palladino, but Pete and Roger wanted to go with a quieter bass player after John Entwistle died, so I get why they chose Pino.
At the beginning of the month Robert Plant and Band of Joy played a couple of songs at the Americana Awards and Honors Showcase in Nashville. One of the songs was an old American folk song, "Cindy," or "Cindy, I'll Marry You Someday," which is what it is called on the Band of Joy album. The second YouTube video contains the album version.
Incidentally, Band of Joy is (according to Wikipedia):
Patty Griffin – vocals and guitar
Buddy Miller – guitar and vocals
Darrell Scott – vocals, mandolin, guitar, accordion, pedal, lap steel and banjo
Byron House – bass
Marco Giovino – percussion
House of Cards
Please Read the Letter
Misty Mountain Hop
12 Gates to the City
Central Two O Nine
Houses of the Holy
Down to the Sea
Tall Cool One
Harms Swift Way
Rock and Roll
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Although I consider myself a fan of the Rolling Stones, I disagree strongly with Keith Richards' sentiments here that "Led Zeppelin is Jimmy Page." I'm not sure why, but Zeppelin has been criticized heavily by rock critics and some of their contemporaries throughout their career. Pete Townshend didn't like their music, although he did say he liked them as people. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, etc. all seemed to have issues with the mighty Zeppelin.
Another example of the disdain for LZ is when the band's manager Peter Grant met Bob Dylan and introduced himself:
"I'm Peter Grant, manger of Led Zeppelin," said Grant.
"I don't come to you with my problems," replied Dylan.
I haven't posted a version of "Sparks" lately so here we go. The above performance is of The Who at the London Coliseum in 1969. The band released a two-disc DVD a couple of years ago called The Who: Live At Kilburn (1977), which contains the Coliseum show as well. Many think that Pete's guitar work is at its finest during the Coliseum show. Regardless of whether it is his best or not, this performance of "Sparks" is definitely right up at the top with performances at Woodstock, Leeds and Isle of Wight. This concert takes place during Pete's boiler suit days, when he decided it was too much trouble to dress like the hippies so he went with the simple boiler suit.
So what are Pete Townshend's happy songs? Did he ever have a "Walking on Sunshine" moment? Townshend's music often contains twists and so even if the beat is uptempo and feels happy, a glance at the lyrics will show that it really isn't happy at all. Some of his happier songs that come to mind are "No Road Romance," "All Shall Be Well," "Stardom in Acton," "Ask Yourself," "Squeeze Box," "A Friend is a Friend," and for me "Long Live Rock" which opens with:
Down at the Astoria the scene was changing,
Bingo and rock were pushing out X-rating,
We were the first band to vomit in the bar,
And find the distance to the stage too far,
Meanwhile it's getting late at ten o'clock,
Rock is dead they say,
Long live rock.
A poster on a Pete Townshend message board a while back asked what is the saddest song written by Pete Townshend. There were some good ones mentioned. For example, "Melancholia" which contains the line: the sun is shining, but not for me. That one was done by The Who on The Who Sell Out (1967). Another suggestion was a Townshend solo called "Never Ask Me." A song that opens with "I passed her once, I passed her twice, Your first reply just seamed as cold as ice, You never ask me, If you love me."Ouch!
For me, it is "Unused Piano: Quadrophenia" which is on Pete's Scoop album. There are no words, just Pete playing piano.
Then in flies a guy
Who's all dressed up just like the Union Jack
And says I've won five pounds
If I have his kind of detergent pack?
I don't know of many people that were dressed up during that time in a Union Jack coat other than Pete Townshend. So was Mick Jagger singing about Pete? Hard to know really. Wikipedia doesn't mention anything about it. I do know that The Who and Rolling Stones were playing the same scene in London around the time the song was written (1965). Pete was and is a huge Rolling Stones' fan. But the "detergent pack" reference would make more sense if the song came out around the time of The Who Sell Out album in 1967. It would be a worthwhile question - at least to me - for Pete and/or Jagger.
I voted in the "Great Zeppelin Countdown," however, my three songs could change tomorrow. One song that is - in my opinion - one of Led Zeppelin's greatest is "In The Light" off of LZ's Physical Graffiti album. Wikipedia says the band never played it live because John Paul Jones could not replicate the synth sound he got in the studio on stage. The article also says that Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes played it when they toured in 1999.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tomorrow, of course, will be the ninth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. I won't be on the computer tomorrow in all likelihood, but I will remember and pray for those that were murdered on that day. I will never forget the bravery of the firemen and cops and the regular people that helped each other out. I try to put out of my mind certain politicians that took credit for their "bravery." I'll ignore, to the best of my ability, the politics that will take place tomorrow. Shame on them.
About a month after 9/11, a great concert was put on for the first responders. The Who put on this memorable performance of "Won't Get Fooled Again." I will never forget a fireman handing Roger a fire chief's hat. Daltrey handed it back to him and said he wasn't worthy of wearing it. Class act.
I can't believe the amount of bigotry and hatred that is floating around out there right now. I think building a mosque near ground zero is in poor taste, but the people that want to build it have every right to do so. However, the amount of name-calling that I have seen from some of the protesters is just disgusting and then there's this loser in Florida - a so-called pastor - that wants to burn the Koran tomorrow. This has stoked tensions in Afghanistan and puts our soldiers at further risk. Not to mention the F.B.I. says they expect retaliation in this country if said pastor goes ahead with his little bonfire. Please people, turn off the t.v. and get some fresh air and stop trying to stoke violence for your own benefit. Same goes for some of the talking heads on television and radio that are adding fuel to the fire.
Roger Daltrey has put together a concert for this Sunday night in the U.K. which will raise money for British troops injured while fighting in Iraq.
Roger had this to say:
"It is astonishing to me that people's attitude to our permanently injured troops can be equally divided. 'They know what they're signing up for when they join,' has been a phrase I've heard during the last few months while trying to raise support for... the concert. While I appreciate that a lot of these people are fiercely opposed to the war, to carry opposition of it into opposition to the support of our injured troops is an anathema (sic) to me... We as a society have a responsibility to the young men and women who have paid a very high price for the politics of this country. It's far too easy to say the war was not in my name, because we have to accept that rightly or wrongly it was. The decisions of the British government are our responsibility. We voted them in... "
For more click this.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
My first post in a while....
Keith Moon died on this date 32 years ago. I always like watching the way Keith interacted with the other members of The Who, particularly Pete Townshend, during live performances. This video of the band performing "Water" at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 is a prime example.