Black Midi supported their friends in the band 404 for a charity gig at the Shacklewell Arms in London last night. They did it under the name “Black Mini.” And their brief four-song set consisted entirely of covers — “Hey Joe,” Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away,” Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff,” and Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name.” Watch their rendition of “Break Stuff” below.
Long time fans and even a new generation of Osmond fans were not surprised that Marie Osmond did so well on “Dancing with the Stars.” Great talent, hard work, and determination in the face of hardships and crisis are what we have come to expect from Marie, Donnie, and the entire Osmond clan over the years. This was evident in all the Osmond children even from the youngest of age, and Donny and Marie have credited their parents for instilling this in them many times in interviews.
The Osmond family celebrates a momentous achievement this year along with throngs of fans young and old with fifty years of entertainment that has been forever captured on TV, film and now on DVD’s so that generations from now can watch and be entertained just as we have been all these years by the mega-talented Donny and Marie Osmond.
Donny and Marie were clean-cut kids, with strong, religious, caring parents that kept all of the Osmond children well grounded. But they were a little bit Country and a little bit Rock and Roll, and very “cool” as far as kids were concerned. The Donnie and Marie show was a variety show originally aired on ABC from 1976-1979.
Donny and Marie had already made names for themselves in the music industry prior to the airing of their variety show. Donny and his brothers sang together as The Osmonds. While Marie had a #1 hit song on the billboard charts, (one of the youngest singers to achieve this) titled Paper Roses in 1973.
The Donny and Marie show had songs of course, but also comedy skits, a skating bit, and always a spectacular finale before Donny and Marie would close the show with a song that became special to many of us that tuned into their show every week. That song was “May Tomorrow be a Perfect Day.”
Donny and Marie are certainly the embodiment of true classic television stars. But they have also been able to maintain their popularity even as the face of television has changed so much since the late 70’s. The tapings of the Donny and Marie variety show could have been hidden away in forgotten vaults along with other classic TV shows like I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffin Show, Happy Days, The Carol Burnet Show, and other truly wonderfully entertaining classic TV shows.
Thankfully, someone had the foresight to bring these classic TV shows out from their dark vaults and run them again for a new generation of kids to fall in love with and an older generation to enjoy the shows that were such a part of the culture of our time back then. There is something comforting about re-living the experiences of our youth as we watch reruns of our favorite classic TV shows. It is nice too, sharing these fond favorites with children and grandchildren and discovering that there is no gender gap when it comes to enjoying wholesome classic television shows together. You can see many favorite classic TV shows aired on networks devoted to broadcasting classic TV, which have large audiences of every age.
DVDs have become a popular medium for watching movies and special episode series of our favorite television shows. You don’t need a television schedule to mark special broadcast dates on the calendar because with DVDs, you are in control of when you watch them. Keeping up with changing times, many of our favorite classic tv shows are now being digitally re-mastered onto DVDs for crisp, clear picture and sound formats to allow us to relive the magic those classic television shows created for us then and continue to as we watch them again.
The Donny and Marie Variety Show is now available on DVD and the Osmonds have been creating magic, entertainment, and a fascination with everything Osmond for fifty years. One secret to their longevity is the absolute humbleness they display even with the celebrity stature they have gained over the years. They have also always been very open in sharing not just their successes and triumphs but the hardships as well. For instance, Donny and Marie openly share sadness about two of the elder Osmond brothers being deaf, and how hard it must be for them to be a part of a singing family and not be able to hear the singing. Donny and Marie and the Osmond family showed strength and determination, even in crisis and hard times. There strength as a family became even clearer this past year when Donny, Marie and 125 other Osmonds appeared on the Oprah show just days after their father, George Osmond, died.
I don’t see the star over Donny and Marie Osmond ever fading. I hope your family buys or receives a Donny and Marie Show DVD this year. You will surely be inspired and entertained.
I’ve been in rock and roll all my life and I’m well aware that The Rolling Stones have been called the best rock and roll band. Don’t get me wrong because I love Mick and the Stones, and the Beatles were my major musical influence, but here’s why I think that Led Zeppelin is the best rock and roll band of all time:
1. BEST PLAYERS
First of all, John Bonham was the best rock and roll drummer ever to walk the face of this planet, and that’s an informed opinion coming from a former professional drummer. John played drums unlike anyone else ever did, still does, or ever will, and that fact is continually demonstrated in the astounding breadth and depth of his recorded work. He had complete independence in all four limbs, he slammed his drums harder than anyone else, and he did it with speed and total precision, never once dropping the beat. His beats were were innovative and creative, and John was never stuck in simple grooves. His fills were innovative, creative, complex, and technically brilliant, he knew when to keep it relatively simple (i.e. Kashmir), but he was always in the stratosphere of drumming. And to top that all off, John created a giant drum sound which is unique. It inspired a host of imitators who were able to imitate the sound of his snare drum, but only with a simple backbeat. At the time that Led Zep was formed, Jimmy Page could have gotten any drummer in the world to play with him, and he chose John. There’s not one single drummer alive or dead who can begin to touch John’s power, creativity, speed, precision, and technical brilliance. I’ve heard that Jimmy still feels the same way about John as I do.
Secondly, Jimmy Page has always been one of the best rock guitarists ever, right from his earliest days as a session player and the beginning of his real public stardom in the Yardbirds. I believe that Jimmy is the most brilliantly prolific of all the great rock and roll guitarists. I suspect that Jimmy would agree with me that Jimi Hendrix was the one true genius of guitar because he came from another galaxy in terms of his sound and his use of feedback. But unfortunately, Jimi died and we will never know how much further he would have progressed. When I listen to Jimmy’s solos using the violin bow, I get the urge to put him on the same pedestal as Hendrix and wonder which galaxy they both came from. As a songwriter, Jimmy used his superior ability to play lead guitar to create actual song structure. Led Zep’s songs use not one or two of Jimmy’s incredibly powerful, complicated and unbelievably SEXY riffs in each song, but there are four, five or more riffs in some songs. Jimmy’s riffs differ from each other within each song, and also from song to song. His lead guitar playing can be HARD and sexy, he can be sensitive and beautiful, and he can be technically brilliant, all in the very same song.
Thirdly, John Paul Jones is a bass player who attained a level of brilliance comparable to Paul McCartney. Just like McCartney, John could play beautiful “melodic” bass (i.e. “Ramble On”), he could play as fast as it gets, but he also knew when to keep it simple and just hold down the bottom although I think he was incapable of doing that without utter sophistication. No one at all can touch those two on bass, and John also played consistently brilliant keyboards – piano, organ and synthesizer. The intricate way in which he wove his bass guitar playing into, through, and underneath Jimmy’s guitar playing is nothing short of perfection itself.
And last but not at all least, Robert Plant had an incredibly high vocal range, emotionally as well as in terms of octaves. Just like Dylan was for his own music, Robert’s voice was perfect for Led Zep’s music and there’s no other singer who could possibly have fit in. As a professional singer, I’m knocked out by Robert’s vocals on both a technical and an emotional level. Robert understood the concept of using his voice like a musical instrument, creating fascinating sounds without using lyrics. And Robert co-wrote with Jimmy too. A lot of the time you can’t understand his lyrics and I’ve heard that was Robert’s intent because just like Mick Jagger, all he cared about at that time was that you connect with the emotion and the energy in the totality of the music. But when you can get the lyrics (like in Stairway to Heaven, their tribute to Janis Joplin), you find a great piece of poetry. And on top of all that, Robert had the best “oooh yeahs” in the business!
2. CREATIVE SONGWRITING
Hardly anybody has ever covered Led Zep songs for very good reasons. Their song structure is based on their vastly superior playing abilities and there’s no one who can actually play what they played. I’m talking about songs that are not based on simple chords like all other rock and roll is. Jimmy and Robert based their songs on Jimmy’s riffs and on his chordal tonalities that to this day stand alone as being unique. I’m also talking about length of songs that maintain a constant and intense high, up to 11 minutes in length without resorting to an overly repetitive chorus. I know from Robert’s solo work after Led Zep that he also uses unusual tonalities in his writing, but even without actually knowing this I would have to assume that due to Jimmy Page being an erupting fountain of brilliant guitar work, the majority of the non-vocal music creation came from Jimmy. The Beatles certainly deserve abject worship for John and Paul’s creative songwriting ability, no question about that. Certainly Mick and Keith wrote a slew of classic, historic and truly memorable rock songs, but the very nature of their comparatively simple rock and roll structure and basic similarity to each other in terms of using major and minor chord progressions, simple and basic rock and roll rhythms, and verse/chorus/bridge approach defines them as being less innovative when compared to Robert and Jimmy.
3. SUM TOTAL OF BRILLIANT WORK
Here they outdistance The Stones because most of the Stones’ albums have “fillers”, which are songs that do not hit the same intense high that got slammed in all their best ones. However, I’d like to say that I don’t think either Mick or Robert is capable of recording anything short of a brilliant vocal. The Beatles actually exceed Led Zep in terms of numbers of great albums that constitute a greater body of brilliant and uniquely innovative work that literally broke new musical ground with every single song they recorded. The Beatles were simply The Beatles, and they were the most creative rock and roll band ever, from being the best singers and songwriters ever right down to their individual charm and charisma. But without denigrating their gorgeous, sensitive and original style of playing, what they recorded is not the heavy type of rock and roll that either the Stones or Led Zep played. George, Paul and John were all brilliant and creative guitarists, but because they did not improvise on stage, they were not really master guitarists. I love and respect Ringo as both a person and as a very creative drummer who mastered the art of drum sounds. He has his own unmistakable Ringo style for both, but he’s not really a master drummer in the sense of being able to play with great speed and dexterity. I’m talking about 9 Led Zep albums chock full of brilliant and intensely high songs – I don’t know how many hours of great rock and roll listening that is. There’s not a single weak track among all that work, and there’s simply no question that they consistently broke new ground musically. Their debut album is still the best one of all time (including Cream’s), and Coda, their “swan song” is equally perfect.
4. STAGE PRESENCE
Led Zep was there when the concept of “rock and roll star” was still evolving. I will grant that the Stones at least deserve honorable mention as the best rock and roll band but it’s mostly because of their impressive touring record and Mick’s superstar stage presence with his ability to put on a great show every single time he appears. And he’s still doing it at age 60 for goodness sake! My point isn’t that Led Zep necessarily had the best stage presence, just that they did have a true rock star sexual aura.
I could go on about Jimmy Page’s abilities as a producer, and there are other aspects to their greatness like the length of time they were together without a change of band members. And the life they actually led as archtypical wild rock and roll bad boys equals the life led by the Rolling Stones in intensity, if not length. Both bands are perfect examples on an artistic level of what I call FORM = CONTENT, which in this case means that these two rock and roll bands personified the rock and roll life.
In conclusion, the above four categories do enough to fully qualify Led Zeppelin for my not-so-humble award. There will never be another rock and roll band to approach the stratospheric musical heights that Led Zep reached. The Recording Industry Association of America, who has the correct statistics, lists Led Zeppelin as the third best selling musical act/artist in history. The Beatles are first, with 166.5 million albums sold in the USA alone, Elvis is second with 117.5 million, and Led Zep is third with 106 million. I think it’s very significant that those statistics are becoming geometrically times greater than the number of albums that they sold during their performance lifetimes. What has happened and is happening is that the young people of today are discovering them in droves because they are coming of age sexually and they recognize and connect with the most powerful musical example of that sexual power. They are buying their CD’s, shirts, posters and other memorabilia. And frankly, I’m thrilled.
The Beatles 1967 album Sgt Pepper is often cited as the most influential and important album of all time. In what I consider to be a reactionary backlash to this praise Sgt Pepper is also often cited as one of the most over rated albums of all time.
This year this monumental album turns 40 years old. So where does it stand now? In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine ranked it as the #1 album of all time. It doesn’t fair quite as well on the popular music rating website Rate Your Music where it ranks #27 of all time which is behind four other Beatles classic albums Revolver (#1), Abbey Road (#2), The White Album (#10), and Rubber Soul (#21).
Personally while it’s not my favorite Beatles album (that honor has to go to The White Album) I do believe it is the most important and most influential album of all time and I do rank it above Revolver, Abbey Road, and Rubber Soul.
I’ve heard some people say it doesn’t hold up well with time but I disagree entirely. I think this album is absolutely timeless. I don’t think the songs sound like they are from the 1960s necessarily. They sound like they are from the future and the past simultaneously.
I believe all 13 songs from this album to be absolutely essential to the album and this is a very rare thing. What set this album apart from most of the albums that came before it is that it truly plays like an album. While definitely somewhat in debt to The Beach Boys classic Pet Sounds, Sgt Pepper takes things a big leap forward. In many ways I still feel that Sgt Pepper is the perfect cohesive album. It doesn’t take the “concept” and wear it thin but it also holds together as one work very well despite, and maybe because, the fact that the songs are of such varying styles.
Song by Song Breakdown:
#1 Sgt Pepper
The album starts off with the crowd noise which goes into the first song which shares the same name as the album: “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” This is a great song and also sets up the rest of the album as part of this loose concept of watching a band perform. This is all made to come together even more by the later inclusion of the Reprise of this song! Paul McCartney came up with the idea of the Beatles pretending to be this different band. The idea being that they could really branch out into all sorts of different styles with no limitations. They could also break free of their image. There’s quite a few layers to the idea but it’s also a very simple idea that isn’t overbearing unlike some later prog rock attempts at “concept albums.”
#2 With A Little Help From My Friends
This track was written by lead songwriters and singers Paul McCartney and John Lennon specifically for the drummer Ringo Starr to sing. This adds another layer to the lyric “I get by with a little help from my friends.” This song was a hit for Joe Cocker (his cover version was used on television program The Wonder Years.) It also contains a reference to marijuana with the line “I get high with a little help from my friends.”
#3 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
This song is inspired by LSD in my opinion although Lennon denied this and said it was merely inspired by his son’s painting. Many years later McCartney admitted the influence of LSD on this track. This song is often cited as a prime example of 1960s psychedelic music. Besides the other worldly fantastical lyrics the song has a dreamy quality to both the music and the vocals. This song uses a flange effect on the drums and the bass is very prominent in the mix.
#4 Getting Better
There’s so many great things about this track I have a hard time deciding what to talk about first. One thing that really does stand out for me though is use of sitar in this track. It’s subtle and yet very effective. A great example of the sort of unique tracks on this album that don’t really have any direct comparison to anything else in rock music, even to this day. I think the sharp down stroke style used on the guitars in this track has been extremely influential in rock to this day.
#5 Fixing A Hole
This is another amazingly unique song that has so many layers and so much to discover. I’m still hearing new things in it now and I must have listened to it over 1000 times. The harmony vocals are absolutely incredible (listen to the right side)
#6 She’s Leaving Home
This song features McCartney and Lennon on vocals but no Beatles play in the instrumentation. The song was scored for classical musicians. The twists and turns in this album are startling but they somehow all make sense. So much variety. All beautifully and masterly done.
#7 Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite
Lennon got all of the lyrics off of an old circus poster he had. A great example of the avante garde attitude of the Beatles at the time. I like to picture this as the wild place she goes after she leaves home. I don’t hear 60s when I listen to this track. I hear another time, another place. A warped distorted but still very relevant version of our own reality. This song is absolute psychedelic weirdness. It’s overflowing with ideas and imagination. The instrumental breakdown after “Henry the Horse Dances the Waltz” and at the end of the track includes bits of real circus sounds which were all cut up and taped back together randomly. This type of thing you could do quite easily today with Pro Tools but in 1967 it was a very inventive and creative technique. The way it was done also lends to it a timeless quality that isn’t connected to any particular recording technique or trick. This sort of experimentation has been very influential on countless artists.
#8 Within You Without You
This is probably the least popular song on the album amongst your average rock fan because unfortunately too many people have a hard time opening their minds towards other types of music. This song, just like “She’s Leaving Home”, features no Beatles on the instrumentation. The music is all recorded by Indian musicians under the direction of George Harrison. Harrison sings and wrote the music. This song to me is absolute essential to the album. “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite” should have opened your mind a little bit but this one should really blow your mind right out of your head. You are now in a completely different world. This is an album that deftly takes you all over the world with an incredible journey through the middle of your mind. I really don’t think I’m overstating this or exaggerating. I simply feel if you don’t hear this, then you haven’t really listened to this album and fully experienced it. I think in some ways this is the most psychedelic song on the album. It’s a true journey and it’s very beautiful. I believe the laughing at the end of the album symbolizes your average person who laughs at things that are different or thoughtful.
#9 When I’m 64
As of this writing Paul McCartney is actually 64. As far as out as the last track takes you, this one places you right back somewhere else entirely. Such a strange trip, isn’t it? This is another song of many on this album that is not guitar based. The Beatles really were experimenting with instrumentation a lot on this album. This instrumental experimentation has been extremely influential on many bands
#10 Lovely Rita
This is just an excellent fun song. The lyrics are fantastic. There are so many just out of this world sounds going on, really listen to everything going on in the mix. And for God’s sake, listen to the reverb on those backing vocals. Awesome. I also just absolutely love the way this song ends with all of the weird vocalizations with the delay. They’re just having a great time making this track that enjoyment directly leads right into my ears.
#11 Good Morning Good Morning
This is probably my least favorite track on the album if I have to choose one. That being said it’s still a great song. I’m a big fan of the time changes and of Paul McCartney’s searing Hendrix like guitar solo.
#12 Sgt Pepper (Reprise)
The sound of a rooster leads directly into a guitar squeal. One of the coolest segues ever. This version of Sgt Pepper is like the first except it rocks a lot harder. This is a great way to tie together the album and lead into the grand finale.
#13 A Day In The Life
This may be the greatest song ever written. In my opinion it is just that. Certainly a fantastic way to end an album. The orchestral buildups are genius and perfectly capture the feelings that could never be put into words. The song itself is can sometimes sound deceptively simple but there’s so much nuance. So much you can hear even on the 1000th listen.
Clearing your mind through meditation is one of the most peaceful ways you can find to just relieve all the tension you have in your body. Once your mind and body are relaxed you can start to just enjoy some time to yourself. I know that most of us listen to the radio at some point of the day. You may enjoy music ranging from country,to easy listening,to disco,soft rock,classic country,or even blue grass.
Whatever kind of music you enjoy you can find this as a very relaxing way of meditation. For a lot of you that are in good physical shape and like to exercise in a gym at home or even by jogging you want to be able to free your mind of a lot of things that have bothered you through the day.If you are out and about doing your exercises take a Walkman with you and just put it on a station that you really like and let the music just relax all of your tension.
If you are at home exercising or even cooking or cleaning if you have a CD player get one of your favorite Cd’s and play it while you are doing the things you need to do.You can also just go get some blank tapes and record your favorite music off the radio for your meditation. One of the things I find relaxing is listening to music while I am working on the computer.
I have found free sites such as lime wire and frost wire and have taken the time to download my all time favorite songs. I transfer the songs I enjoy into my windows media player and play my music everyday when I am on the computer. I just quietly sing along to my favorite music relax and just meditate about my day. I actually use my keyboard a lot and have to do a lot of typing about different subjects. I have found that if I am not completely relaxed and my mind clear I will make many mistakes in my work which I can’t afford to do.
I know I need to be completely relaxed so I pull up my windows media player and play my most favorite songs that will help me to use mediation to get my work done. I have also bought some blank Cd’s and burned my favorite songs and then listen to that CD while working on the computer or even going somewhere in my car. After having a busy long hard day and I know I still have to drive home and start my routine of cooking,helping kids with homework,giving the kids a bath and getting them to bed.
As soon as I get in my car and I think about all the things I will have to do I put my CD in the player clear my mind and relax and meditate. After I get all my work done I put the kids to bed and the house is very quiet I will draw me a hot bubble bath and listen to my music and just clear my mind and gather my thoughts so I then can start the next day with a clear head.
So whether you enjoy meditating by exercising,shopping,or listening to your favorite music you will find once you have released all of your tension you can then start to feel good about yourself and when you feel good about yourself you can then feel good about your life.
Jimi Hendrix is the #1 Rock and Roll Star of All Time
I’ve been in rock and roll all my life and I admit it’s bit difficult to put Jimi Hendrix above
Mick Jagger in terms of brilliant rock and roll stardom, but after watching several movies of both Jimi and Mick in concert, here’s why I would do it:
1. BEST MUSICIAN
Jimi Hendrix was the only true genius in rock and roll. The word genius is highly overused and it’s often applied to people who are extremely talented. I disagree with the dictionary when it equates genius with “exceptional intelligence”, and what I think the word genius is supposed to refer to is a person who creates something that’s new, and not only new, but significantly new, important, and somewhat of a milestone in human development. I call Albert Einstein the premier genius of the human race because the Theory of Relativity was a giant jump in the understanding of the way our universe operates and to this day, few people actually understand anything other than the bomb part. Jimi Hendrix was the genius of rock and roll because he was the only one who invented something new. It’s almost impossible to do anything that’s really new in the field of music because there are only eight notes in the Western scale so in a sense, all music is derivative. But Jimi invented guitar feedback and nobody before Jimi even thought about it. And Jimi took his invention one step farther. Until Jimi came along, all music since the time of Mozart and Beethoven has been built on chord structure and rock and roll music uses simple chord structure. Jimi actually used feedback alone to construct song structure in a few, but not all of his songs (i.e. Third Stone From the Sun). To this day, nobody has been able to do what Jimi did. In fact, Jeff Beck bought Jimi’s strat at an auction and even the super talented Jeff admitted that he can’t get the same sounds out of the very same guitar as Jimi got. With all due respect to Mick, he’s a brilliant singer and one of the all time great rock and roll songwriters, but he’s not actually a brilliant musician because he only plays rhythm guitar. I believe Mick would agree with me about Jimi being a genius guitar player because Mick was one of the first ones to discover Jimi when The Experience made their debut in the clubs of London. Along with John Lennon, Mick spread the word to the other British musicians about the new nova in the rock and roll sky.
2. BEST PERFORMER
It’s a tie between Jimi and Mick. Call it a dead heat with one survivor. If Elvis was still breathing he’d be breathing down both of their necks and I probably will get flack from a whole lot of people for saying that, and even more flack from the know-nothing fans of Madonna, Prince (whoever he is these days) and Michael Jackson (not to mention Roberta FLACK). Certainly Elvis came first and Elvis was The King, but Jimi and Mick both had their own unique styles and neither one were heavily influenced by Elvis in terms of their performances. Mick was influenced by James Brown’s dancing and only God knows who influenced Jimi’s performance style because he was truly an original. Besides, Elvis moved on to acting and he starred in tons of below average movies – and now I’ll really get flack! Unfortunately I won’t get Roberta. But seriously, Mick deserves an award for putting on a great show every single time he appears, he did that right from his debut as a young man, and he’s continued to do that as an old man. Jimi died as a young man. Both of them were sex stars on stage as well as off stage but watching Jimi on stage is nothing short of breathtaking. He had all the moves, he had the body of a black Adonis, he played his guitar with his teeth, behind his back, under his leg, and when he set fire to it at the end of his shows, he got down on his knees and prayed to the Guitar God who obviously listened to him. He wasn’t a dancer like Mick, he was a mover and a shaker of women’s “G” spots. People standing in front of his stage all had the same astounded expression on their faces as if to say, “I can’t believe this guy! What galaxy did he come from?”
3. SONGWRITING TALENT
“And the Wind Cried Mary”. Oh, Jimi, how poetic can you possibly be? So the galactic storm screamed “Jimi”, and what hetero man in his right mind doesn’t want that “Foxy Lady”? I suppose that a man who’s in a “Purple Haze” might not be able to recognize one, and a man who’s in a state of “Manic Depression” might not be able to get out of bed and do anything about it, but every time Jimi launches into Foxy Lady with his famous dissonant E chord my libido stands up and salutes. And every time I hear that all time classic feedback note in the middle of the song, it never fails to send shivers up my spine. Comparisons to other songwriters are superfluous. Jimi quite obviously wrote more than a few great rock and roll songs, he almost always had something important to say, and he always said it in a poetic way.
4. SINGING TALENT
As a professional rock and roll singer, it’s hats off time to Mick. Oh, I’ll get big arguments about that but people who would argue the point don’t understand rock and roll singing. It’s not about range, power, or technical perfection. It’s all about emotion and style. Mick knows how to sing without necessarily using words. Like Robert Plant, he often uses sounds alone to express emotions. A case in point is “Going Home” on the Aftermath album which consists of 11 minutes of Mick having sex with a microphone. Jimi Hendrix was actually embarrassed by his own singing because as a great musician, he recognized and understood the great singers. In the recording studio, he was the master of guitar but he recorded his vocals over and over and over again until he got something that he could just live with. But I put Jimi in the same class as Bob Marley and Bob Dylan. These are great artists who were all perfectly capable of putting across their own unique songs in a way that nobody else can. I’m not a fan of Dylan’s voice and when The Byrds recorded Dylan songs, they did a good job but they lack Dylan’s sarcasm and his almost bored feeling with his own poetic brilliance. I’m a big fan of Bob Marley and I like his voice, but I recognize that he’s not a great singer. It just so happens that I love Jimi’s voice. I hear Bob Dylan’s influence and I know that Jimi was a fan of Bob’s voice and of his lyrics. But Jimi did something very unusual vocally and in the theater, it’s called an “aside”. Jimi had a wonderful habit of flipping off little spoken phrases, very often interrupting himself while he was singing and it came off as being totally COOL. When it comes to singers, people either like them or they don’t and all I can say is that as a professional singer, Jimi’s voice works for me big time.
5. SEXUAL AURA
Every rock star has it. Jimi had too much of it for one man. I’m wildly hetero but I’m wowed by the sexual aura that surrounds Jimi on film. I was lucky enough to see him one time in person and I can testify that he was as HOT as it’s possible for a human being to be in the flesh. There are an uncountable number of women who would be quite willing to testify about Jimi’s abilities in the bedroom.
So in conclusion, it’s not necessary to be a great musician to be a rock star, just like it’s not necessary to be a great actor to be a movie star. This should be self evident and there are way too many examples in both fields to start listing them. But Jimi was a genius guitar player, a unique and atomicly powerful performer, a great songwriter, a very good singer, a super nova sex star, and a world class personality on top of everything else. That’s why I call Jimi Hendrix the Number One Rock Star of All Time.
Jazz music composition is the work of knowledgeable musicians with the skills to write, and create one of the most memorable masterpieces. Moreover, Jazz music Composition is a course included in colleges and universities who deem it a worthy subject to study. Composing Jazz music requires the theory of constructing chords that are altered or substitute that would fit within the guidelines of composition.
Meaning, experimentation is fine as long as you know how to fit in the musical shocks in the piece in a manner to not disrupt the flow. It is mandatory to keep the essence of Jazz music a part of you when creating, and keep all thoughts to restrict creativity out of your mind. The aim of Jazz music composition is to create what you feel about any subject into the sound of your musical work. To find your way into the making of Jazz music composition you should learn the skills of basic theory in ear training, notes on various instruments, key signatures, scales, chords, intervals, counterpoint, harmony, melody, music terminology, clefs, meters and time signatures, transposing of various instruments, and music reading.
Listening to Jazz music from various artists will give you a feel for the type of composition you would like to create. You can begin with music arranging which is recreating an old song with new ideas. For instance, it has been done many times by professional musicians to use a public domain song, or ask permission to use a certain song. One example is Chaka Khan’s ” The End Of A Love Affair” written for Billie Holiday by Edward C. Redding in an arrangement that fit Chaka Khan.
There are many versions of Jazz standards such as “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” , “Misty”, and “Stormy Weather” by different people who wanted to either keep the basic structure or interpret the song in their own special way. The basic rules to composing a Jazz Composition is to make a theme and arrange the music around it.
Meaning, as in basic songwriting structure you will need a beginning, middle, bridge, and ending. The order is always up to the person(s )creating the music. You can begin with the themes most common in notated Jazz and Blues sheet music or fake book forms. In addition, use the basic theory structure you find on sheet music as a format, but use your own ideas. In arranging, you can examine the basic format, and embellish on areas you think needs it. The direction one can go in music arrangement is infinite according to the history of how each style of jazz music was created.
When creating Jazz music composition one must remember the essential element present in all true Jazz music which is improvisation. Jazz Improvisation is not notated in any shape, way, or form. In fact, the improvisation in Jazz composition is invented by pure emotion of the musician moved by the accompaniment. Improvisation in Jazz composition can be in the beginning, the bridge and also at the end of the piece. Most commonly there is embellishment in the middle of the piece, but it all depends on the mood of the creator of the music.
Once you learn the theory behind Jazz music composition, you can learn the shortcuts on creating. For example, lead sheets usually have the Jazz chord symbol above the melody below it as a basic structure to follow. When all is said and done, you will have created your own masterpiece as a gift to the world from your heart.
“Rock and roll is sexual energy expressed in sound”
It all started with “Elvis the Pelvis”. Why do you think all the girls started fainting all over this country when they heard Elvis’ voice for the first time? It was because nobody had ever heard a man sing something like “All Shook Up” and it shook them to the core. Being sexy like that just came naturally for Elvis and the girls picked up on it immediately like some kind of sexual email was being sent directly into their brains! Other rock and roll stars followed in Elvis’ steps very quickly. Jerry Lee Lewis knew what to do and he got himself into a great big ball of fire with his underage lover. Chuck Berry was another natural, and he also created some serious trouble simply because he was black and the white girls went for him big time. I think that may have been the first time that the pathetic and hung up white male population had to deal with the racial sex issue at this level.
Then The Beatles exploded. It was the Elvis phenomenon again except that all The Beatles really did was sing like gods, shake their mop top heads around and look adorable, and thousands of girls got wet panties at the very same time. The effect was enhanced by their memorable simple love songs because those young girls who were coming of age and dreaming about falling in love connected on the emotional level too. At first all they needed to write was “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me” and millions of girls wanted to please them and hold something of theirs. The sexual message in their music was often very subtle but Ringo’s driving beat made them want to get up and shake it all around.
Mick Jagger was another natural, just like Elvis. Right from the beginning, “The Lips” knew how to give and get Satisfaction and he followed that up with a long series of balls to the wall hits with strong sexual messages like “Play with Fire, “Live With Me” and the all time classic musical expression of sex, “Going Home”. Strangely enough, it wasn’t Mick who actually got all the girls into bed, it was Bill Wyman, the Stones’ bass player. In his autobiographical book Bill told all, and his groupies totaled in the thousands. He never made it clear in his book exactly why that happened to him and not the same way to Mick who must have gotten and still be getting whoever he really wants to have. But it did happen and all Bill ever did was stand there completely still and play his bass guitar looking sort of sad and forlorn. There simply has to be a logical explanation for Bill’s success, and I think I know what it is. (Don’t ask, I won’t tell).
Not much needs to be said about that most powerful sexual dynamo, Jim Morrison, who told all the girls to “Come on Baby Light My Fire” and before fainting dead away, they did whatever he wanted them to do. I’m not sure how many net surfers understand what “Back Door Man” is all about but the song itself says “the men don’t know but little girls understand”. Enough said on that one.
And then came Jimi Hendrix. The pun is intended. Jimi had to have been the sexiest black musician of all time and few girls didn’t want to be his “Foxy Lady”. They actually used to line up outside his dressing room backstage and Jimi would come out and choose one or more at a time. He was another one who simply couldn’t help himself, although he did understand exactly what he was doing and why. Later on in his career he stopped his sexy performance on purpose because he was a serious musician who wanted people to appreciate his playing and his songwriting for being as creative as it was. He felt that his sex show was getting in the way of that kind of appreciation so after the Experience broke up, he pretty much stood still playing with his eyes shut because he didn’t even want to see the girls out there anymore.
I believe the best example of sexual energy expressed in sound is Led Zeppelin. Whenever they played live Jimmy Page seemed to stagger around the stage as if he was drunk, but he wasn’t drunk. It was just that the hurricane of sexual force that blew out of his amp was too much for even Jimmy to withstand. Now I’m sure that most people are aware that rhythmically beating drums awaken the sexual forces. Africans were despised and envied by white people because of the sexual way they danced to their own drum music. John Bonham, who was unquestionably the best rock and roll drummer who ever walked the face of this planet, pounded his drums with such power that Led Zep’s sexual energy increased dramatically. Irresistible sexual energy in their music is only one of the many good reasons why I say that Zeppelin is the #1 Rock and Roll Band of All Time.
By the mere mention of its name, you might think that it is another time instrument that takes a shape of a fruit. Sorry to burst your bubble but it is not. Try asking your parents and they will surely know what is Strawberry Alarm Clock. Once a hit wonder psychedelic rock band from Los Angeles in California, they were strongly identified for their 1967 hit entitled “Incense and Peppermints.” The group consists of lead guitarist Ed King, keyboardist Mark Weitz, drummer Randy Seol, bassist Gary Lovetro and rhythm guitarist Lee Freeman. The vocalist, Greg Munford, who sang their most famous track was only 16 years old at that time. He was not officially part but just friend who lent his voice.
In the late 1967, “Incense and Peppermints” by Strawberry Alarm Clock was in the number one spot on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart. After the roaring success, George Bunnell was added before they made their first long phonograph by that same year. Some of their compositions were penned by Steve Bartek who later participated Oingo Boingo. It was a critically recognized American new wav rock ensemble. He played the flute on the debut album but was not able to be much active because he was still in school.
There were a lot of changes in the memberships of Strawberry Alarm Clock. Bassist Gary Lovetro left before the release of “Wake Up It’s Tomorrow” still in 1967. Their single “Tomorrow” did not really climbed high in the musical arena. Their only other top 40 appearance reached number 23 in the early period of 1968. However, they trailed with more long phonograph in the following such as the launching “The World In A Seashell” in 1968 and “Good Morning Sunshine” in 1969. Due to their audience not having been able to appreciate them that much as compared to before, they slowly began to fall apart. There were a lot of attempts for them to be back together but come 1971, they finally ended their career together.
Strawberry Alarm Clock was seen in films such as “Psych Out” in 1968 starring Academy award winning actor Jack Nicholson. They performed several such as “Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow” and “The Pretty Song From Psych Out.” Two years after, they appeared in Russ Meyer’s camp classic “Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls.” Lead guitarist Ed King joined Lynyrd Skynyrd which is described by All Music Guide’s Stepehn Thomas Erlewine as the “definitive Southern rock team that converges the overdriven influence of blues with rebellion.” In the 1980’s, several of them met once again to stage concert tours. The pioneering reunion took place when rhythm guitarist Lee Freeman found a newspaper advertisement where it promoted their act at a Los Angeles club.
Established in New York in 1924, the Excelsior Company has long been serving the market with great accordions. The company considered expansion of their production and sales in 1948 and since then, excellent sound, quality and fine look of the Excelsior accordions have been appreciated all over the world. It was in fact noted in one of the resources that the greatest popularity of Excelsior accordions was reached after the Second World War as they became a “must” for any big orchestra with Charles Magnante and Art Van Damme as a few among the many popular accordionists who prefer Excelsior.
As commonly claimed, all of the professional models of Excelsior accordions are very prestigious instruments. The selection ranges from the top-quality 960 (922 in button), highlighting tone chamber or cassoto and five sets of reeds that appear both in treble and bass, to the lighter 911 with 610 in button that is recommended to folk and modern music players. Aside from that, there was the glorious AC, popularly known as “Continental”, which has long been deemed as the one of the best accordions ever made in all times. Specifically, this model boasts its hand made sets of reeds in treble and six in bass, tone chamber, and lightest keyboard. It is these features which sets the Excelsior Continental the most appreciated by jazz and classic music lovers.
On the semi-professional side of Excelsior accordions, it is worth noting that all of the Excelsior accordions under this category are deigned and crafted according to the same quality standards applied to professional accordion manufacturing. It also covers a wide range of models which generally offered matches to any requirement that the forthgoing students or experienced amateur may have.
Just recently, Excelsior proudly introduced their new Conservatory series that is composed of six new mid priced convertor accordions. This particular series of Excelsior accordion was actually produced after many years of cooperation with teachers and professionals as well as by using only the quality materials and skilled craftsmen. This series is now well-known for its superb tonal quality and elegance that are coupled with its reasonable price.
The Excelsior accordion company today goes ahead in its tradition of quality and prestige, but all of their products are still crafted with selected materials and in accordance to the best traditional craftsmanship approaches as well. As you may know, to own an Excelsior accordion these days is like owning a prestigious instrument and following the path of the best accordion players of the past and present.