Dick Wagner of Michigan Band “The Frost” dead at 71

We lost the man who made “The Frost.” It’s a sad day for classic Rock and Roll in Michigan.

The Story:

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.

via Dick Wagner, esteemed Michigan rock guitarist, dead at 71 | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.

Here’s “The Frost” at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit:

The Thursday night music express presents: Johnny Winter

It just hit me, I have heard some blues player had passed away and the name for some reason did not click.

Folks, we lost Johnny Winter.

There will probably be a lot of words written about this man and I don’t think that anything that I could say would be any better than what they’ve written.

Rest in peace Johnny say hello to Jimi for me.

This video below is as far as I’m concerned Johnny Winter’s best performance.

Robert Plant does not want to live in Led Zeppelin’s past

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.

Robert Plant – Just another pissy old, overpaid, overrated rock star

Quote:

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.”

via Robert Plant Slams Idea of Zeppelin Tour: ‘I’m Not Part of a Jukebox’ | Music News | Rolling Stone.

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.

 

 

The Friday Night Music Express Presents: The Boston Symphony Orchestra

I am including this because of this historic day and anniversary.

Via UpWorthy:

President Kennedy was a transformational leader, and it’s hard to imagine what it felt like to hear of his assassination 50 years ago today. Kennedy was shot as the Boston Symphony Orchestra was about to begin its regular Friday afternoon concert. When word of his death reached the hall a few minutes later, the audience was already seated, oblivious to the world-changing events happening in Dallas.

In a powerful — and stunningly level-headed — decision, the orchestra’s music director, Erich Leinsdorf, sent librarian William Shisler to get the music for the funeral march from Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony. Shisler quickly distributed the music onstage, letting the musicians know what had happened.

This recording, from WGBH in Boston, begins when Leinsdorf takes the stage to announce the terrible news to the audience and captures the BSO’s heart-rending performance of the Beethoven symphony — a work they found out they were playing only minutes before.

ORIGINAL: By Erich Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Originally broadcast on WGBH and found on Time. You can hear the full introduction from the radio broadcast in WGBH’s archives.

Again, may we never forget; and never forget who did this.

Lou Reed RIP

This is stunning. Also too, consider this an exception to the new rule.

What I know him for…:

Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May.

via Lou Reed, Velvet Underground Leader and Rock Pioneer, Dead at 71 | Music News | Rolling Stone.

May he rest in peace.

The Tuesday Night Music Express Presents: The Osborne Brothers

Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

A high school in Indiana decided recently to ban the classic country song “Rocky Top” from football games because its references to “moonshine” are supposedly “politically incorrect,” as WNDU.com puts it.

Indiana High School Bans Classic Country Song at Games Because It’s…Politically Incorrect?

“We have a hard time seeing how we can continue to let our whole school body, student body celebrate to a song that’s about alcohol,” said Plymouth School Superintendent Dan Tyree, who is responsible for the ban. — Source 

(Via Gun Free Zone – H/T to Say Uncle)

 

The Saturday Night Music Express Presents Linda Ronstadt

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.

Others: TelegraphPower LineScared MonkeysKTLA 5 and EW.com

The Saturday Afternoon Music Express Presents: Chicago Live 1972

After the week I’ve had, I am in need of some good music.

This is from 1972. This is Chicago Transit Authority.

This is from an era, when the city of Chicago was actually worth a darn and not the leftist swamp it is now.

Although, some of the songs in this video are quite leftist in nature, “We can make it happen” being a perfect example — it is still good music.

Also too, please note: This video features the late, great, Terry Kath, who was tragically killed in a gun-related accident;  just 6 years after this video was filmed.

Enjoy and please, enjoy the weekend! :D