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!

 

 

 

 

Jimi

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This is a picture of me with my son on the site of the original Woodstock stage where Jimi once famously played the Star Spangled Banner. We were swept up in the moment. What better place for a jumping air guitar salute? “None more better place” is the answer.

Starting a series on icons of rock- I am starting with Jimi Hendrix.

There were guitars that screamed and guitars that jangled. And then came Jimi and the guitar would speak clearly of pain and of joy…..huh?….what?

Jimi and the guitar were one-he slept with his guitar because he was his guitar. When he had nothing as a small boy-he had a broom that he pretended was his guitar and it was his only friend.

Like Tom Hanks in Castaway with Wilson-unnatural bond of person to object.

And I forgot to mention-the best rock guitarist ever to walk the face of the earth. Period. No discussion needed.

[Since this is a blog –allow me to go on a bit more]

Especially for you kids that are new to rock music.

Rock is blues based.

This is a basic timeline.jimi-3

For purists only-this can sound a little rough as we cannot go back to the 1930’s and imagine how it would feel.  We can’t walk on those dusty roads and hitch a ride to the next town with 12 cents in our pocket.

Robert Johnson arrived and let the world know that something was going on in the delta. The best blues music is always someone going on a rant with their guitar about how things are in their world. You could say that about the best rock music, the best country music or the best hip hop music.

The truth thrown out there in a compelling way.

T-bone Walker added some fire to the guitar- he started doing things that no one else could.

“They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday is just as bad.”

There are other songs that I should pick to show off the virtuoso in action—-but this is sooooo smooooooth.  It just dances and tickles the music palette before seeping gently into your soul.

Jimi ran all that energy and inspiration in one big liftoff that reached orbit. We got great guitar players now-we don’t have a name that I can place next .

Jack White is close if you make me force a choice. Close still does not fit. Like a giant stone used in the pyramids-it has to ease in there perfectly. I am still waiting.

And here is where we finish for now.

I am going for less fire and more heart in these tunes and want to end with one of the greats in that next group to follow. SVR spent his whole career chasing down Hendrix-he even carried one of the master’s wah wah pedals on this journey. I am not going to throw a link here-but I do write about a show where I was lucky to catch him with his boots on this pedal early in my blogging days.

Maybe lucky is not the right word- Let’s try blessed.

Memories of SVR

Today would have been the 58th birthday of Stevie Ray Vaughan, it has been 22 years since the helicopter crash outside of Chicago that ended his run. I was fortunate to catch his shows a couple times. Stevie Ray was a blues man, which means you had to see him live. Blues on any recording just does not match the power of being at a live show. I will say that again…you have not heard blues until you have seen a real master performing in person. There is an energy that can’t be explained only experienced.
He played at JB’s Theatre in Albany N.Y with his brother’s band The Fabulous Thunderbirds warming up. I waited outside in the rain for tickets and got in early and stood in the front row leaning against the stage. I was only inches away from the Wah Wah pedal duct-taped to the stage…I knew the stories…This was Jimi Hendrix’s Wah Wah pedal!!! Jimi’s pedal and it was almost close enough to reach out and touch…but I could not break the sanctity and just remained awestruck. I was a bit disappointed that Stevie Ray was wearing a floppy “French-guy” hat instead of the cowboy hat he was known for. I would later learn of him fighting his demons of drugs and alcohol and seeking a more spiritual life. I don’t know at what stage in this battle I found him, I just know that losing this trademark part of his image meant something.
The thing I took away from the show was the complete dissociation from this world that took hold of him when he leaned back into a solo. I can see it now as I reflect on it…he was somewhere else. The fluid cascading waterfall of sound that happened when he leaned back was something. He really could care less if he was playing for 50,000 people or 20 people or no people at all, he was gone. He did get to his version of “Little Wing” which for me was the highlight. I never saw Jimi live….but I don’t think I would trade this moment away for it.