Pure – Simple – Blues

I once had the honor to see this man in a club for a 3 dollar cover charge during a big snowstorm when the place was almost empty. It did not matter if it was 20 people or 50,000 to Mr. Johnny Copeland. He  went to work.

Stays with me today.

Brilliance personified.

This year’s nominees are (mostly) wack!-Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame 2015

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Here starts the “one hit wonder” phase for the hall.

“Hey dude-Joan Jett rocked and she was hot-I know she had another song after  I love Rock and Roll – I just can’t think of it –hang on let me google this.”

If that is the typical reaction- I ask you – Hall worthy? – I think not.

Bill Withers – at least his “one” hit was so good that I almost don’t have to list it.  Ain’t no Sunshine is something else –but again –I have to google to find something else.

Before you say that I am not a dedicated music fan because I don’t know the catalog of these important artists — really —- seriously —- Music fans are crazy and subjective —but find me one – just one— that had either of these “classic-serious-music-stars” tattooed on them anywhere – I don’t care how drunk they were!!!

It has not happened.

 

Now let’s get to serious Artists:

In the spirit of: We need to add Ringo because all the other Beatles are in separately and we need the complete set.

“Let’s make up an award that will fit him.”

Hey- I got it – he always chooses excellent musicians to hang out with- how about AWARD FOR MUSICAL EXCELLENCE—Really RRHOF? If Joan Jett gets in for her insightful lyrics—why not man up and put Ringo in for his great writing like … “no no no no I don’t smoke it no more, I’m tired of waking up on the floor.”

I blame the  Kiss induction of last year for these “treasures” going in. It lowered the bar and declared open season in Cleveland for all the flash.

The others I have no problem with:

Lou Reed and SVR are icons. If you ever heard “Sweet Jane” on the radio or were ever lucky enough to be there when Stevie stepped on a wah wah pedal—MAGIC BABY, MAGIC!

Paul Butterfield is good honest hardworking blue-collar blues.

Green Day is an actual successful rock band in an era devoid of actual successful rock bands.

I don’t know -The “5” Royales – but I will give the hall the benefit of the doubt.

 

BUT-deny “The Smiths”?  Whatever you think of Morrissey- this band was a game changer.

I also would have put Kraftwerk in ahead of that first batch I mentioned.

But hey- I am just a simple blogger.

Cheers from the cave!

 

 

 

 

Bob Marley Legend-Cave Top 10

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Bob Marley Legend

Another of my cave top ten and I don’t care if it’s a greatest hits compilation.

I also don’t care if Will Smith had an un-natural love for it in “I am Legend”.

This record contains all the great Marley tunes that are easily consumable by anyone if they care to listen.

It is like a set of easily digestible and quality reggae that works for the initiated and uninitiated alike.

(At least until the re-release added a few numbers of a more “gamey” flavor)

Jimi once said “Are you experienced” – You don’t have to be – Listening to this one record over and over will get you as much practical education as is necessary to become a full-fledged Marley fan.

That’s right- You do not have to smoke copious amounts of marijuana and spend countless nights out in the street being warmed by a burning trash can.

Listen and learn.

Listen and let it wash over you.

I love Bob Marley!

Johnny Cash – The original conflicted badass and friend to all.

This song has been hounding me all week—I have seen it performed live a couple times (both great!). It sneaked on a Pandora feed when I picked Coldplay to start. (Hey, Coldplay is great to matt and frame to-you need to be in a zen state while slicing those boards to perfection!)

I have this on-and-off-fling-thing going with country music. I love the passion and the traditional “common man struggling against the odds” mixed with the drinking and facing down trouble. It cuts right to the heart of the American dream.

Maybe it’s all the time at the county fair this week—I’ll just say it—The Washing County Fair in Greenwich N.Y. — Full of bad food, rides, and….of course…cows, pigs and people of all shapes, sizes and attitudes.

It brings you back to earth.

I need to be brought back to earth.

To get out among the huddled masses and connect because I am they and they are me. I can think I am whatever I want..… but in reality –I am just a guy struggling to get by, just like lots of others here in the great Upstate agricultural land of New York.

fair

Which brings me to Johnny Cash. I don’t care how famous or rich he got-I don’t care about the awards and all the other trapping of his historic rise to the top of the music world.

This guy is genuine and down to earth. Accessible to prisoners, punks, senior citizens and [put another group in here-they all work] at the same time.

If he walked by you at the fair-you would think of him as a long lost friend. You would think of him as one of you.

This is a rare and beautiful thing to have.

The ability to connect with everyone.

Who does not love this guy and his music?

Respect from the cave.

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The Pretenders

The Pretenders first record is one of my favorite records of all time and a capstone to my collection. I am throwing on a song from it because another blogger was talking about this album and fired me up!

Thanks to stephan1001 over at http://1001albumsin10years.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/the-pretenders-the-pretenders-1980/ for getting me motivated to do a short post

You can’t pick a bad song-even my least favorite “Brass In Pocket” is better than 98% of all commercial rock music produced since 1950- and it is only my least fav because the rest of this record is so damn strong.

The power and energy in this candy coated but bittersweet melodic punk music is unrivaled.

Chrissie Hynde is the Queen of Rock Music.

The Pretenders first record is nothing short of brilliant.

I love it and all it stands for.

It has got me working on a post to unveil my top 10 records ever made (long overdue) and will come out on a blog near you real soon.

And just in case you need to see this song in a softer light to feel the genius of it- I offer you this:

SPOILER ALERT: THIS IS ONE THAT MADE THE LIST

Cheers from the Cave!

Reflections on “Bad”

“The great thing about being music insane instead of regular insane is that you hear songs in your head instead of voices”

Yeah—I said that in another post which I may or may not have published-

Anyway, it’s 3:07 in the morning and I am wide awake-“Wide Awake, I’m not Sleeping’—to quote a line from Sir Bono. Maybe it’s that super moon outside which has us all a little wired-the werewolves are just a little more hairy and track you down a little faster!

“Bad” is playing in my head as I shift positions and filter through all my 99 problems until I decide they will dissipate to solutions and I will get up and write a blog post.

It is “leave this hollow place and break away into the half-light…through the flame” that makes the trouble all run from me.

The power in that line and the power in this song has me in a trance.

I have never been to Ireland so forgive me if my vision of a place where Christianity and mysticism combine with rain to keep the land green and Guinness flows naturally to fill a pint glass are a little off. (That is my feeling and I hope to check that with an actual visit in the not too distant future)

This song could only have been made by an Irish band-it has all of that in it and more.

“Bad” was an anthem in the much maligned decade of the 1980’s. We forget about the quality.

“If I could, If I could, I would let it go”

You can interpret this classic anyway you want.

I see it as the never ending struggle to escape the bonds that bind us to whatever we struggle with—being wide awake gives us a chance to look at them clearly for what they are—they are temporary-the permanent is still being formed.

Hey, that is just me.

Just a guy who writes about rock music and is wide awake under this big bright moon.

moon-5

 

Rainbow in the Dark Deconstructed

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1983- This is heavy metal

Before we argue over clean and dirty vocals-before we get into speed metal or death metal or black metal.

If you reached for the pure stuff back then- you reached for Ronnie James Dio

The keyboards sound like trumpets to usher in the new age.

“When there’s lightning – you know it always bring me down
Cause it’s free and I see that it’s me
Who’s lost and never found”

From Zeus to Thor to the Almighty himself-lightning has been used to signify a supreme deity in all cultures since the beginning of time.

The special relevance we put on this force of nature does speak volumes about what is rejected in this song. He is alone in the dark and wants to keep it that way.

Well…almost alone…

“Do your demons – do they ever let you go
When you’ve tried – do they hide – deep inside
Is it someone that you know”

He knows his demons and knows he can’t escape them. (I hold out hope in the belief that everyone can get to a place where the hounds of hell will stop their pursuit and give each person some peace-it goes beyond the scope of this post and they don’t ever stop until we make a choice to face them down—-but I digress…)

 

“There’s no sign of the morning coming
You’ve been left on your own
Like a Rainbow in the Dark
A Rainbow in the Dark”

Rainbows need light to exist or more accurately they need light to appear to exist since they are more optical illusion that actual entity.

Often seen as a sign of hope and renewed spirit after a storm has passed.

There must be some light in Dio’s dark place to make a rainbow-even if it is just the light of creative energy——-that wonderful thing that happens when pain and struggle produces an artistic array of spirit.

The force that turns inspiration into magic.

A power so great that it can take depression and form a wave that a whole crowd can be swept up in.

Power to take many who feel alone and connect all the dots to bring them together with one voice.

This music seems to emanate from depression and anger.

Emotional anguish turned and polished until it shines clean.

Dio makes metal out of rock.