We lost the man who made “The Frost.” It’s a sad day for classic Rock and Roll in Michigan.
It was a final medical battle Dick Wagner couldn’t win.
Wagner, the Michigan-bred guitarist renowned for his work with Alice Cooper, the Frost, Lou Reed and others, died this morning in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 71.
Wagner succumbed to respiratory failure at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, where he had been in intensive care for the past two weeks following a cardiac procedure.
The guitarist had famously overcome a series of medical issues during the past decade, retraining himself on guitar after a stroke paralyzed his left arm. He re-emerged to begin recording, writing and performing gigs, including a triumphant homecoming concert at the Magic Bag in November 2011.
Wagner was born in Iowa, moved with his family to Waterford as a child, and later settled in Saginaw. He was a key figure in southeastern Michigan’s emergent rock scene in the 1960s, a go-to guitarist who made his name with the Bossmen and the Frost.
He was eventually recruited by Alice Cooper for the milestone 1972 album “Welcome to My Nightmare,” and went on to A-list session work with the likes of Reed, Peter Gabriel and Rod Stewart. Rock lore has long held that Wagner was a secret hired hand on albums by several high-profile bands.
There has been a great deal of talk and hype about Led Zeppelin doing a reunion tour — and Robert Plant is having none of it.
It’s been nearly seven years since the show at the 02, and the topic of Zeppelin’s aborted tour still rankles Plant, who has come to a pub near his North London home to talk about the group’s new series of archival release. As explains himself his decision to not tour with Zeppelin, he leans forward with menace, and his eyes nearly double in size. “You’re going back to the same old shit,” he says. “A tour would have been an absolute menagerie of vested interests and the very essence of everything that’s shitty about about big-time stadium rock. We were surrounded by a circus of people that would have had our souls on the fire. I’m not part of a jukebox!”
Nearly all of Plant’s peers are happy to deal with such a circus considering the insane financial rewards. “Good luck to them,” he sneers. “I hope they’re having a real riveting and wonderful late middle age. Somehow I don’t think they are.”
Needless to say, Jimmy Page has a very different take on the situation. “There’s bound to be fallout if you just do one show,” he says. “At the time of the 02 show we were led to believe there were going to be more. You’ll have to ask Robert why he changed his mind. I don’t even know if he considered it. I don’t know what he thinks.”
I hate to say it, but, I do get Robert Plant’s point. He is simply not interested in cashing in on Led Zeppelin’s legendary status.
One thing people have to understand about Led Zeppelin is this: By 1980, when Led Zeppelin’s drummer, John Bonham died the band was basically running on the vapors of a different era. Jimmy Page was doing heroin, John Bonham was going on drinking binges that would last for days. Now Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were living totally different lives; as they were totally sober and trying to be in a band. This lead to friction in the band. This was further compounded when Robert Plant’s five year old son Karac died of a stomach infection. Jimmy Page nor John Paul Jones showed up for the funeral. This angered Plant greatly.
Plus too, and this is the part that nobody really talks about anymore, but it’s the truth; by 1980, Led Zeppelin sounded, well, dated. By 1980, Zeppelin sounded like, well, the 1970’s and young people of that era had moved on. The young people of the 1980’s were listening to punk and new wave. The ones of listened to rock and roll, had found other bands to listen to, seeing that Led Zeppelin was taking forever to release records. So, a bit of their fan base had been peeled off. So, by 1980, Led Zeppelin was seen largely as a novelty act.
Please Note: I do not write the following as a critic, but as someone who really liked Bonham’s drumming and am saddened that Bonham died the way he did and as a grandson of a man, who was a working alcoholic who tragically died really young:
As a drummer, I feel that I can say this: The only reason Led Zeppelin was what they were, is because of John Bonham’s drumming; this is why they did not attempt to replace him, after he died. The other guys were great musicians, but Bonham’s drumming rounded out and really made that sound. Bonham’s own son does not even remotely sound like him at all. Not only that, but even Bonham’s drumming sound was the result of some old school studio trickery and careful editing of tape; especially in the later years, as the use of alcohol began to cause his drumming ability to suffer. In his later years, Bonham’s inability to do “triplets” was very obvious. Bonham never lost timing, that I’ve ever heard; but his later drumming was not nearly that of his young years. When Bonham was sober, he played well. When he was drunk, he was awful. Bonham, when drunk, would become verbally abusive towards the other band members; this is clear in the intro of one of John Bonham’s isolated tracks of “Fool in the rain.” Bonham could not even count off a song to start a session take without making a mistake.
My point is this: Robert Plant simply does not want to go back to that place again; and quite frankly, I do not blame him one bit.
I feel Ace Frehley’s pain. Gene Simmons, since revealing that he is Jewish; has taken to playing the Semite card….alot.
An excerpt from an interview:
Paul’s book recently came out. Have you read any of it?
I haven’t read it, but I’m sure he threw me under the bus in one way or another. [Laughs] Although I heard he threw Gene under the bus more than anyone.
Apparently he thinks you and Peter are anti-Semitic.
That’s absurd. I’m engaged to a Jewish lady! I’ve been with her for five years. Her name is Rachael Gordon and she’s a singer-songwriter. I met her in San Diego on my 2008 tour. And my whole life I’ve been in the music business. You know the music business is controlled by Jewish people: My attorney, my accountant—everybody’s Jewish. [Laughs] I’m anti-Semitic? Are you out of your mind? You know what the problem is? Paul’s cranky because he can’t call me a drunk or a drug addict anymore. He can’t say I’m unemployable. He can’t say I don’t show up, because I do these days. So now he’s grasping at straws just to grab headlines for his goddamn book.
What killed KISS was the overmarketing of KISS by Gene Simmons (or should I call him Chaim Witz?) and because of Gene’s outspoken Conservative politics. The majority of KISS fans could give two flips about politics, Israel or anything else related. It is too bad that ol’ Chaim turned KISS into his own personal diamond mine and political bully pulpit. For all the controversial imagery in that group; there were some seriously good tunes written by that band — especially in the early years.
I know how Ace Frehley feels. I was basically blackballed by the neoconservative blogosphere; because I did not go along with the hive mind mentality, when it comes to Israel, in the Conservative blogosphere. I also have been called a racist by the same people, because I simply will not buy into the idea of multiculturalism. Which is, for what it is worth; progressive code words for being ashamed that you are a white person.
Anyhow, it is a shame that Simmons would stoop to such tactics against former band mates. But, it is to be expect by those who are a protected minority and seem to believe that they are entitled to some sort of special treatment. The funny thing is that Republicans will fall all over themselves to decry blacks who demand such treatment; but you dare let someone question the same treatment of Jews — and quickly those people are branded haters, by the same very people. It is a sad double standard in Conservative and Republican politics.
This is pee in the pants funny! I almost fell out of my chair laughing at this.
On Monday night’s edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Megadeth appeared in a sketch promoting their upcoming Christmas album, Thrashing Through the Snow: A Very Megadeth Christmas.
Don’t worry, last-minute shoppers — it’s not a real album!
Dave Mustaine, Chris Broderick & Co. were joined by Jenny Lewis, who accompanies the band on a metal version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” But we think you’ll enjoy all the holiday classics on the (again: fake) album.
This is John Fogerty, Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook, Doug Clifford at their best in 1970 at Royal Albert Hall.
1. Born On The Bayou
2. Green River
3. Tombstone Shadow
4. Travellin’ Band
5. Fortunate Son
7. Midnight Special
8. Bad Moon Rising
9. Proud Mary
10. The Night Time Is The Right Time
11. Good Golly Miss Molly
12. Keep On Chooglin’
This is for Linda Ronstadt, who is fighting for her life. Fight like hell woman!
Legendary singer Linda Ronstadt, 67, told AARP today that she “can’t sing a note” because she suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosed eight months ago, Ronstadt began to show symptoms as long as eight years ago. But she ascribed her inability to sing to a tick bite (“my health has never recovered since then”), and believed the shaking in her hands resulted from shoulder surgery.
In a wide-ranging interview with AARP’s music writer Alanna Nash to be published on aarp.org next week, Ronstadt revealed how she discovered that “there was something wrong” with her voice.
“I couldn’t sing,” she told Nash, “and I couldn’t figure out why. I knew it was mechanical. I knew it had to do with the muscles, but I thought it might have also had something to do with the tick disease that I had. And it didn’t occur to me to go to a neurologist. I think I’ve had it for seven or eight years already, because of the symptoms that I’ve had. Then I had a shoulder operation, so I thought that’s why my hands were trembling.
“Parkinson’s is very hard to diagnose, so when I finally went to a neurologist and he said, ‘Oh, you have Parkinson’s disease,’ I was completely shocked. I wouldn’t have suspected that in a million, billion years.
“No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease,” Ronstadt said. “No matter how hard you try.”
Ronstadt walks with the aid of poles when on uneven ground, and uses a wheelchair when she travels.
And so much more. But, I cannot post them all. The great possum has left us and this earth for his Heavenly home.
NASHVILLE — George Jones, whose supple Texas voice conveyed heartbreak so profound that he became perhaps the most imitated singer in country music, died Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after being hospitalized with high fever and irregular blood pressure. He was 81.
Hank Williams may have set country music’s mythology and Johnny Cash its attitude, but Jones gave the genre its ultimate voice. With recordings that spanned 50 years, including No. 1 singles White Lightning, She Thinks I Still Care and He Stopped Loving Her Today, Jones influenced generations of country singers and was considered by many to be the greatest of them all.
Jones’ life also included legendary battles with substance abuse, mostly alcohol, and four marriages, including one to fellow singer Tammy Wynette, and another, his last and longest, to Nancy Sepulvado.
Ultimately, though, it was that voice that won Jones two Grammys, got him into the Country Music Hall of Fame and made him an American musical icon. That plaintive voice that seemed to break down at will and wallow in sorrow. That voice of honky-tonk eloquence that held tortured echoes of heroes like Williams, Roy Acuff and Lefty Frizzell. That finely nuanced voice that offered thrill rides of emotions, with twists and turns, slippery, bending notes and sudden drops.
Jones’ performances weren’t just an emotional rollercoaster, they were the whole theme park. — Via USA Today
He was the one, who opened Woodstock 1969 and now, He is with Jimi, Janis and the rest.
Here is Rich Havens talking about his Woodstock 1969 performance:
NEW YORK (AP) — Richie Havens, the folk singer and guitarist who was the first performer at Woodstock, died Monday at age 72.
Havens died of a heart attack in New Jersey, his family said in a statement. He was born in Brooklyn.
Havens was known for his crafty guitar work and cover songs, including his well-received cover of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman.”
His performance at the three-day 1969 Woodstock Festival, where headliners included Jimi Hendrix, was a turning point in his career. He was the first act to hit the stage, performing for nearly three hours. His performance of “Freedom,” based from the spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” became an anthem.
Havens returned to the site during Woodstock’s 40th anniversary in 2009.
“Everything in my life, and so many others, is attached to that train,” he said in an interview that year with The Associated Press.
Woodstock remains one of the events that continues to define the 1960s in the popular imagination. Performers included The Who, Janis Joplin, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and dozens of others, and the trippy anarchy of Woodstock has become legendary. There was lots of nudity, casual sex, dirty dancing and open drug use. The stage announcer famously warned people to steer clear of the brown acid.
Havens had originally been scheduled to go on fifth but had been bumped up because of travel delays. Festival producer Michael Lang said in the book “The Road to Woodstock” that he chose Havens “because of his calm but powerful demeanor.”
His performance lasted hours because the next act hadn’t showed up.
“So I’d go back and sing three more,” Havens said in an interview with NPR. “This happened six times. So I sung every song I knew.”
Havens’ website said that he had kidney surgery in 2010 and that he never recovered enough to perform concerts like he used to. He performed at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration in 1993. — NYT
Folk music singer and guitarist Richie Havens, who opened the 1969 Woodstock music festival, died Monday, April 22, of a heart attack at his home in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was 72.
Havens, who retired from performing three years ago, toured for more than 40 years and recorded 30 albums. However, he’ll probably be best known as the opening act at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, where he performed one of his most famous songs, “Freedom,” his own version of a spiritual called “Motherless Child.”
Actually, that day, Havens had no choice but to play every song he knew.
Scheduled fifth on the bill for the opening day of the Woodstock festival on August 15, 1969, Havens and his band were forced to go on early because other bands were busy fighting traffic on the way to the festival grounds in Bethel, New York.
“It was 5 o’clock and nothing was happening yet,” Havens told Billboard. “I had the least instruments (to set up on stage) and the least people (in his band).” Havens performed for 40 minutes. “I went back and did that, then it was, ‘Four more songs …,’ and that kept happening ’til two hours and 45 minutes later, I had sung every song I know.”
Alvin Lee, the guitarist and singer of Ten Years After, has died.
A statement posted on his official website read: “With great sadness we have to announce that Alvin unexpectedly passed away early this morning after unforseen complications following a routine surgical procedure.
“We have lost a wonderful and much loved father and companion, the world has lost a truly great and gifted musician.” — More at Music Radar
I will not lie to my readers, Jazz is really not my thing. I am a rock and roller. However, I always show mad respect to the great ones in music. Jazz is an American thing, and we invented it, and people overseas wanted to sound like us. This was back, when America was a great Nation and people around the world wanted to be like us.
Enjoy the music:
Dave Brubeck, the pianist and composer who helped make jazz popular again in the 1950s and ’60s with recordings like “Time Out,” the first jazz album to sell a million copies, and “Take Five,” the still instantly recognizable hit single that was that album’s centerpiece, died on Wednesday in Norwalk, Conn. He would have turned 92 on Thursday.
He died while on his way to a cardiology appointment, Russell Gloyd, his producer, conductor and manager for 36 years, said. Mr. Brubeck lived in Wilton, Conn.
In a long and successful career, Mr. Brubeck brought a distinctive mixture of experimentation and accessibility that won over listeners who had been trained to the sonic dimensions of the three-minute pop single.
Mr. Brubeck experimented with time signatures and polytonality and explored musical theater and the oratorio, baroque compositional devices and foreign modes. He did not always please the critics, who often described his music as schematic, bombastic and — a word he particularly disliked — stolid. But his very stubbornness and strangeness — the blockiness of his playing, the oppositional push-and-pull between his piano and Paul Desmond’s alto saxophone — make the Brubeck quartet’s best work still sound original.
Outside of the group’s most famous originals, which had the charm and durability of pop songs ( “Blue Rondo à la Turk,” “It’s a Raggy Waltz” and “Take Five”), some of its best work was in its overhauls of standards like “You Go to My Head,” “All the Things You Are” and “Pennies From Heaven.” — Source