Like the Kingsmen, Kinks, Cream, Jeff Beck Group, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath? This video’s for you. Now writing a history of rock and roll, I’ve just reached that period in the mid-1960s where blues-rock became hard-rock, which in turn became heavy metal. I remember it well, witnessing it explode around me. I saw Black… Continue reading Breaking down hard rock.
Over 50 years ago (gulp), I worked on a newspaper alongside the guy, above. We were teenagers at the time, both deeply into old-school American blues, as well as the new-style British R&B and blues-rock bands coming through in the 1960s. That’s his own composition he’s playing: ‘Blues is Just a Bad Guy Feeling Good’. … Continue reading Blues is just a bad guy feeling good.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Myths six and seven. “It’s very hard to tell what made me first decide to play the guitar. ‘Rock Around the Clock’ by Bill Haley came out when I was ten, and that probably had something to do with it.” David Gilmour, Pink Floyd. In 1955, Bill Haley and His Comets unlocked the pop… Continue reading Rocking five continents.
Let’s start with July 9th 1955. Rock ‘n’ roll’s Ground Zero. “The first time I really ever felt a tingle up my spine was when I saw Bill Haley and the Comets on the telly. ” Paul McCartney. Things are rarely as they first seem in the history of rock and roll. Dismissed as a passing fad… Continue reading Rock ‘n’ roll myths debunked.
How would you like to hire Pink Floyd for just £250 (US$334.47) a night? Back in 1969, in the UK, such a thing was possible. As you can see from this vintage price-list, Joe Cocker, the Moody Blues and Jethro Tull cost you £350 ($468) nightly; and Ten Years After, even less. Rory Gallagher’s band… Continue reading Book Pink Floyd – £250 ($334) a pop.
I’ve always had a soft spot for hard rock band AC/DC since seeing one of their early gigs in Melbourne, Australia, in 1974. An unknown AC/DC were supporting a well-known Lou Reed, who we’d paid handsomely to see, but found uninspired and disappointing. AC/DC weren’t as tight as they’d later become but, needless to say,… Continue reading AC/DC’s unsung older Young brothers.
The blues guitarists’ guitarist. If you read my last post about the Thames Delta guitar heroes, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, you’ll know which one of the three isn’t a mainstream mega-star. Of course, it’s Jeff Beck. While Jeff hasn’t sold quite as many records as Page and Clapton, for many musicians, he’s the blues… Continue reading My tribute to Jeff Beck.
Blues and rock on the high seas (written before coronavirus ruined cruising for everyone) You know you’re getting on a bit when you start writing about ocean cruises. Not that I’m expecting to hit the high seas any time soon. Unfortunately, my wife has the twin fears of the cruise ship sinking, and being trapped… Continue reading CRUISIN’ FOR A BLUESIN’
Three blues guitar greats born 12 miles apart. If there was one small area of earth where three of the world’s most influential blues or blues rock guitarists would be born, just a year apart, where do you think it might be? The car below is a bit of a clue, not an easy clue,… Continue reading Three blues guitar greats born 12 miles apart.
You’d be amazed just how many rock stars were teachers, as Carlos Wilde still is, and has been for years now. Queen’s Brian May taught math(s) and science; Mark Knopfler taught English, as did fellow Geordie, Sting. Sheryl Crow and Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie were music teachers. Gene Simmons of Kiss taught sixth grade and Brian Ferry (another Geordie) taught art. And they’re just… Continue reading Has Carlos Wilde gone punk?