Even though Ian McDonald was in two groundbreaking groups, his name is not well known to many who loved the music he played. Both King Crimson and Foreigner were leaders in establishing a new style of Rock Music.
Ian, who was a native of London, learned how to read and play in music in a slightly different way than most. It was during his five years in the British Army that he learned how to play the clarinet, saxophone, and flute. He used them all during his long career and later added keyboards and guitar to the mix.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees for 2022 were announced today by President and CEO Greg Harris. Among those nominated for the first time was the British New Wave band Duran Duran.
“What a surprise and an honor! To be nominated by such a highly esteemed organization is truly special in this, our fortieth, year,” John Taylor, the bass guitarist said. “For decades now Duran Duran have been inspired by the incredible support of our beautiful and diverse fanbase around the world. To be considered by the Hall of Famers is truly next level. Let’s hope we make the cut!”
While he was born Marvin Lee Aday, we knew and loved him as Meat Loaf. The son of a former policeman (Orvis) and school teacher (Wilma) he was in over 50 movies and TV shows and performed in Broadway type musicals. However, Meat Loaf will always be best known for the iconic album BAT OUT OF HELL.
When that album first came out and started selling at a brisk pace, most people thought that he was an overnight sensation. That was hardly the case.
We have lost one the most unique voices of all time to Cancer. Ronnie Spector was one of the most respected and loved singers of all of Rock and Roll history. No one else ever sounded like her.
The signature song for Ronnie, “Be My Baby” is just about the most perfect song you will ever hear. The song was recorded in 1963 as the second song recorded by the group known as the Ronettes. However, the only voice on the record is that of Ronnie Spector. The Phil Spector produced record was enhanced by the group of outstanding studio musicians that later became known as The Wrecking Crew.
Join Ten Years After for their FREE ticketed livestream event from London featuring a pre-recorded performance + live Q&A with the band on Saturday October 23, 2021 at 4pm EST.
This special event will be hosted by T. Morgan and is brought to you by GetOnVolume and Deko Entertainment.
One of the true building blocks of British Blues, John Mayall, has posted an important announcement on his website http://www.johnmayall.com. In part, what he says is that due to the risks of the pandemic and his advancing age, there will be no more John Mayall tours. While he will still do some live shows near his home in California, he will no longer be touring the world.
With this statement, Mayall has ended decades of touring as one of the true ambassadors of the Blues. It is amazing that he has been at it for so long. John will be 88 on November 29th.
When The Rolling Stones announced that Charlie Watts wasn’t going to be able to make the “Unfiltered Tour”, because of an undisclosed operation, a voice said to me that we will never see him again behind the kit. Since Charlie himself said in a statement that he wasn’t heathy enough right now but planned to be back in the future of the tour, there was a glimmer of hope.
That hope was dashed when the news came of his death on August 24, 2021. For many of us it was like a part of our life growing up with music also died.
Charlie was so quiet. He never liked being in the spotlight. Interviews were few and far between. He was married to the same woman for 57 years. In many ways, he wasn’t your typical Rock star.
There are only a handful of true pioneers that had a huge influence on the birth and growth of Rock and Roll. Bill Haley Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Gene Vincent all made their unique contributions. They are all gone, but their influence will live on forever.
Now we have lost another major influencer. Don Everly died on Saturday August 21 at age 84. Together with his late brother Phil, they drew up the blueprint for harmonizing that was used by every Rocker from The Beatles to Crosby Stills & Nash to The Byrds to The Eagles to, well just about everyone who sings harmony.
One of the very first voices I heard when I came to Philadelphia for college was that of Bill Wright, Sr. He was nothing like I had ever heard before on Rock ‘n’ Roll radio. Instead of the usual rapid-fire approach, Bill was a lot more laid back and even “folksy”.
The Rebel Wright is what he proudly proclaimed. He never forgot his Alabama roots. His career started there, but he became a radio legend only after getting his big break at WIBG. It was at WIBG that he broke radio ratings history.
Dusty Hill, the man who provided the thunderous bottom for Z Z Top, died peacefully in his sleep at age 72. The cause is unknown, but just last week Dusty was on tour with “the little ol’ band from Texas” so it was totally unexpected.
Apparently, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer had not been feeling well and was taking some time off at the time of his death. It was thought that he would return after some rest. The official Z Z Top website called it a “short detour” on July 23.
The name Ethel Gabriel probably means very little to the average Rock fan. She was a true pioneer in the record business and should be remembered.
Ethel was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. As a young, accomplished musician she started her own band at age 13. Her instrument was the Trombone and the music her band played was that of the great big band bands of her youth like Glenn Miller. That led to playing in the Philadelphia Women’s Symphony Orchestra at a very early age.
Trying to create anything that has never been done before usually ends up in failure. No one remembers the names of the people who tried to invent the first radio or record player and failed. Even if they were successful and didn’t get the credit because someone simply beat them to the patent office, they didn’t get any reward for their work.
Creating something from a mere idea takes painstaking hard work. You have to be prepared to fail over and over. Read the life story of some famous inventors and you will get a better understanding. They are driven by an inner passion that most people just don’t understand. Most of the time their drive doesn’t come from a desire to make money. It is just as well, since most often the pioneers in any field rarely get rich from their ideas.
When Spencer Davis appeared at the Main Point years ago it was long past the time of the famed Spencer Davis Group days. One might have thought that he wanted to leave all of that behind him, but when I spoke with him in the basement of the legendary club, he didn’t mind dragging up the past. In fact, he seemed rather proud of the fact that Steve Winwood was doing so well.
At the time I didn’t think to ask him if the stories of him being Steve’s German teacher in high school were true. It was a rumor that prevailed for some time. While Spencer was very fluent in German and did teach it while performing in clubs at night, in looking at his bios there’s nothing about him ever teaching the subject to Steve or his brother Muff.