☛Pursuant to our recent conversation about the supposed death of the electric guitar, I got to thinking about how much poorer rock ‘n roll would be had it never existed. What if Johnny B. Goode had to be played on a synth? (Assuming it existed back then.) Then I started thinking about that “100 great guitar riffs” video that made the rounds a few years back.
If you’ve seen it, time for a revisit. If you haven’t, check it out. This dude works at a guitar store. Yes, he has a superb guitarist but you doubtless know he couldn’t go from clean to dirty without an effects pedal. An awesome feat all the way around.
☛I saw the Grateful Dead documentary Long Strange Trip (now on Amazon Prime) at a theater when it was released a month or so ago. At four hours (plus intermission), it was a bit long but totally worth seeing. They gave a good overview of The Sixties but pretty much completely left out the Airplane and other important bands. My series on them gave me a new appreciation for them. Great driving music as their songs go on apparently for hours.
The last part was kinda sad, with Jerry Garcia deteriorating before your very eyes. They say he succumbed to the pressures of fame. That seems partly true to me. He never really took care of his health so I gotta think that contributed.
☛My son’s band Pray for Sound played a festival in Belgium last month. Somehow the live feed didn’t work out. Somebody then posted a close-up video but it was sideways. This one is from some dude’s cell phone. It’s a hundred miles away but it gives you a good feel for it. I like ’em even better live.
This video is on Facebook so I guess that’s where you’ll have to watch it if you’re so inclined. My son (Sonny Boy III) is third head-banger from the left. This audience is about 1 million times larger than anything they’ve played at before. Playing same festival in Vermont later this year.
Facebook link. (If no sound, right click, unmute.)
☛According to Rolling Stone, they’ve been working on creating a Bob Dylan archive in Tulsa, Oklahoma for over a year. (Oklahoma and not Minnesota as it’s right next to his idol Woody Guthrie’s center.) It will eventually include about 6,000 largely unseen items stretching back more than 50 years.
So, handwritten lyric sheets, letters from fellow artists like George Harrison, clothes he wore at certain shows. Dylanologists are over the moon with this treasure trove, reckoning it will shed new light on his artistry. They’re still soliciting design requests so no date when this will be open to the public.
☛While the great preponderance of Music Enthusiast readers are from the US, amazingly (and unexpectedly) my blog has now been read at least once in almost 60% of the countries in the world. (Given the nature of the blogosphere, I don’t think this is all that unusual.) So stats show countries from Albania to Bahrain to Estonia to Montenegro to Russia to Jordan. As to Laos, North Korea, Cuba? Holdouts! I think they’re just being coy.
☛Is Head Lice a good band name? I’m thinking maybe it is for one of the next wave of degenerate rockers. What if a band had the brass balls to call themselves The New Beatles?
☛If somebody arrived from Mars and said, “I want to know more about this rock ‘n roll thing. Point me to what you think is the quintessential rock ‘n roll band,” I would unhesitatingly point them to the Rolling Stones and specifically to my 112 song, 7 1/2 hour Spotify list which I will share here. You’re welcome.
I mention this because I hear rumor that a play may be coming to Broadway that will use Stones songs to “tell their life story,” a la Kinks Sunny Afternoon, Billy Joel’s My Life or Bruce Springsteen’s Warm Beers on the hood of a Dodge. AKA Asbury – The Musical! (I made those up.) Is this a good idea? I dunno. It could suck.
☛Lastly, I doubt this will work outside the U.S, but Emerson College in Boston has a pretty good radio station (WERS) which you can listen to online. They do an interesting, eclectic mix. So, sometimes Broadway, often a mix of things. In one set I heard songs by Elvis Costello, Joy Division and A Tribe Called Quest. My favorite show for several years has been the All A Capella show. Used to be a couple hours on Saturday and Sunday, now alas, appears to be only Saturday.
And as always, keep on rockin’ in the free (and not so free) world!