Archive for Canned heat

(More Than) 40 Years Out: Celebrating Woodstock

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2012 by 30daysout

Marker overlooking the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair grounds near Bethel, NY.

There isn’t much more to say about Woodstock that we didn’t say here, here or here … but the 43rd anniversary of the historic music festival is coming up this week (Aug. 15-17) and we thought it would be a good opportunity to look back for a few minutes.

Why should we celebrate Woodstock? Someone asked that once, then he answered his own question: it was just a weekend when a whole lot of dirty hippies gathered in one place to smoke dope, get naked with each other and bitch about all of the things they took for granted. And I said yeah, exactly! The one thing he didn’t add was that those 500,000 so-called dirty hippies gathered there because nobody stopped them from doing it.

Even in 1969, while there were riots in the streets and war protests across the country, we were still the Land of the Free. All of those people initially drawn to Woodstock went for the music, but once they got there it was something else: a festival that got out of control, a cluster fuck with a soundtrack. It was, ultimately, a peaceful happening in a time of war and personal conflict.

John Sebastian playing for the masses at Woodstock.

Woodstock was a good thing that happened in a troubled time. When assassins took the lives of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy and Malcolm X, those were bad things. When a police riot disrupted protests in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, that was also a bad thing. When American National Guardsmen shot and killed unarmed students at Kent State, that was certainly a bad thing.

Most of all, Woodstock was a celebration of freedom. People went to Woodstock to celebrate the rights that we are guaranteed as Americans, and the privileges we think we deserve as a rich, prosperous nation. Including freedom of speech – the same right used back then to protest the Vietnam War, and the same right guaranteed today to guys who own fast-food chicken restaurants as well as to people who disagree with what he says.

So maybe Woodstock should join our calendar of national celebrations, another occasion to appreciate the many great things we have here in America. Maybe you shouldn’t take the day off work, but on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of this coming week just take a moment to remember a time of peace and music – and freedom.

And you can play these as your soundtrack … they’re not all from the original Woodstock, but each one has the proper spirit.

MP3: “Woodstock” by Joni Mitchell

MP3: “Freedom” (2009 version) by Richie Havens

MP3: “Kiss My Ass” by Country Joe & the Fish

MP3: “Green River” (live at Woodstock) by Creedence Clearwater Revival

MP3: “The Brown Acid Is Not Specifically Too Good” stage announcement at Woodstock, 1969

MP3: “Goin’ Up The Country” (live at Bethel Woods 2009) by Canned Heat

MP3: “Dance To The Music” (live at Woodstock) by Sly and the Family Stone

MP3: “Wooden Ships” by Crosby, Stills & Nash

MP3: “Piece Of My Heart” by Big Brother & the Holding Company

MP3: “China Cat Sunflower” (live) by The Grateful Dead

MP3: “Johnny B. Goode” (live at Woodstock) by Johnny Winter

MP3: “Volunteers/With A Little Help From My Friends” (live at Bethel Woods 2009) by Jefferson Starship

MP3: “For Those of You Who Have Partaken of the Green Acid” stage announcement at Woodstock, 1969

MP3: “Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze” (live at Woodstock) by Jimi Hendrix

 

MP3: NBC News report on Woodstock, 1969

On The Road Again

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2012 by 30daysout

It may not look like much in the photo, but this is the largest convenience store in the world.

In most places around the country, gasoline prices are dipping. You know what that means – summer’s here and the time is right for piling the kids and/or the dog into the car for a road trip.

We were on the road this past week, and deep in the heart of the Lone Star state we wheeled in to a truly awe-inspiring site: the Buc-ee’s truck stop/convenience store just north of New Braunfels, Texas, between San Antonio and Austin.

Buc-ee’s is a chain of stores found along the highways of Texas. They sell typical convenience store junk food, some hot kolaches and fudge and their own brand of beef jerky, hot peanuts, etc. They also sell a wide variety of knick-knacks, cheap Texas souvenirs and similar crap. We’ll get back to that in a moment.

But this Buc-ee’s we visited, it was friggin’ massive! It was at least the size of a Walmart and sure enough, my research tells me at 68,000 square feet it is truly the largest convenience store in the world (Wikipedia is your friend). It also has 60 gas pumps, about 78 toilets and 250 employees.

The Buc-ee’s beaver mascot.

This is the largest store in the Buc-ee’s chain and I’m told when it opened in May there were cars stretched up and down the frontage road just waiting to get in there. People in Texas love Buc-ee’s for some reason; everywhere, I see people wearing t-shirts with the logo featuring a goofy cartoon beaver. Instead of a Disneyland or Six Flags shirt; like Buc-ee’s is the destination tourists really want to make pilgrimage to.

Anyway, back to the crap they sell in the store. There’s a huge rack of CDs, mostly country music, but because it’s Texas the selection is considerably more choice than your typical roadside truck stop. You got yer George Jones, yer Willie Nelson, some Ray Price and even a disc of Johnny Bush. A Dolly Parton disc and wow, even Robert Earl Keen! Unfortunately, there’s Pat Green too.

There were some copies of the great series from New West Records, Live From Austin TX – glorious audio tracks of performances from the great “Austin City Limits” TV show. Here’s Willie Nelson on the show, Robert Earl Keen, Billy Joe Shaver, Kris Kristofferson, even the Texas Tornados (which IMO is the best of the series). You don’t have to go to Buc-ee’s to find these; your friendly neighborhood record store ought to have a good selection, or you can shop online.

There are also discs from Icehouse Music, a company that rack-jobs music from Texas, Americana and roots artists. That’s the label where you can find the great Johnny Bush (he wrote “Whiskey River” for Willie) and his autobiographical Kashmere Gardens Mud, as well as the incredible two-disc tribute to Guy Clark This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark, which features Robert Earl, Willie, Joe Ely, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris and many more.

Some years ago I picked up a CD at a truck stop, California Jukebox by the Flying Burrito Brothers. Now this isn’t the Gram Parsons-Chris Hillman Burritos, it’s the 21st century version, with John Beland and Gib Guilbeau and featuring guest shots from David Allan Coe, Waylon Jennings, Sonny Landreth and even original Flying Burrito steel guitarist “Sneaky Pete” Kleinow. It came out in 2001 from the last incarnation in a long line of imitation Flying Burrito Brothers. It overcomes low expectations and it was a pleasant surprise for me – dig one up if you can. It’s on Icehouse Records, apparently no relation to Icehouse Music above.

Well, this tirade has arrived at a place far from where we started – that’s a nice summer road trip. So, for your summer road trip, here’s a soundtrack for ya.

MP3: “On The Road Again” (live at Austin City Limits) by Willie Nelson

MP3: “White Line Fever” by Joe Ely

MP3: “Truckstop in La Grange” by the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash

MP3: “Bloody Mary Morning” by Johnny Bush

MP3 ” (Is Anybody Goin’ To) San Antone/Texas Tornado” (live at Austin City Limits) by the Sir Douglas Quintet

MP3: “Endless Highway” by The Band

MP3: “Automobile” by John Prine

MP3: “Truck Stop Girl” by Little Feat

MP3: “Highway Cafe” by Kinky Friedman

MP3: “California Jukebox” by the Flying Burrito Brothers

MP3: “Honkin’ Down The Highway” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Goin’ Down To Mexico” by ZZ Top

MP3: “Roadhouse Blues” by The Doors w/John Lee Hooker

MP3: “Sweet Hitch-Hiker (live) by John Fogerty

MP3: “Life Is A Highway” by the Tom Cochrane Band

MP3: “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash

MP3: “Highway Star” by Deep Purple

MP3: “Let Me Drive Your Automobile” (live at Woodstock 40th anniversary) by Canned Heat

MP3: “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf

MP3: “Call Me The Breeze” (live) by Lynyrd Skynyrd

MP3: “The Road Goes On Forever” (live at Austin City Limits) by Robert Earl Keen

42 Years Out: Woodstock Music & Art Fair

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , on August 13, 2011 by 30daysout

Yeah, it was 42 years ago this weekend, more or less.

I came upon a child of God, he was walking along the road. And I asked him, “Where are you going?” And this he told me:

“Sir, you can park up in the parking lot.” He was one of the volunteers who hang around the green, grassy fields where they held the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, about 42 years ago. We drove up there from New York City on a hot July Monday, and we walked through the nice museum and the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts amphitheater. We also strolled through the lush grass where a little more than four decades ago about half a million kids grooved to the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and many more.

Not too many people were there on the day we went, and of course it was nowhere near as exciting as the visit we made in 2009. But it’s a nice pilgrimage for people who profess to love the music – it’s a reminder that no matter how many Sugarlands or Jason Aldeans or Lady Gagas parade before us, there will always be somebody plucking a guitar and writing a song. For every one of those clowns there will be a Jakob Dylan, a Justin Townes Earle, a Mumford and Sons and maybe even an older artist finally getting deserved exposure, like Alejandro Escovedo. Like the green grass outside Bethel, New York, you just gotta go looking for it.

Let’s play some tracks they gave us from the 40th anniversary of Woodstock at Bethel Woods, NY, in 2009:

MP3:  “Going Up The Country” by Canned Heat

MP3: “Fish Cheer/Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag” by Country Joe McDonald

MP3: “50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain” by Ten Years After

MP3: “Woodstock Boogie” by Canned Heat

MP3: “Summertime” by Big Brother and the Holding Company (with Sophia Ramos)

MP3: “St. Stephen/Turn On Your Lovelight” by the Jefferson Starship (with Cathy Richardson, Linda Imperial and Tom Constanten)

MP3: “Volunteers/With A Little Help From My Friends” by the Jefferson Starship and others

YouTube: Excerpts from “Oh! Woodstock!” a 1970 documentary on NBC-TV

The Woodstock festival grounds today.

Christmas Rockin’

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , , , on December 3, 2010 by 30daysout

Liberace, the Ghost of Christmas WTF?

MP3: “Run Rudolph Run” by Keith Richards

MP3: “Jingle Bells” by The Weisstronauts

MP3: “(I) Deck The Halls” by Los Straitjackets

MP3: Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) Holiday Greeting

MP3: “Hey Santa” by The Birthday Girl vs Alexander’s Festival Hall

MP3: “Tiny Tree Christmas” by Guster

MP3: “Blue Christmas” by Sheryl Crow

MP3: “Súper Mamá (Supermom)” by The Pinker Tones

MP3: “Jingle Bell Rock” by the Arcade Fire

MP3: “The Chipmunk Song” by the Chipmunks and Canned Heat

MP3: “Twas The Night Before Christmas” by Liberace

MP3: “Party Hard” by Little Isidore

MP3: Ozzy Osbourne’s holiday greeting

MP3: “Christmas For Everyone” by Halford

MP3: “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree” by Joe Lynn Turner, Bruce Kulick, Bob Kulick, Rudy Sarzo & Simon Wright

MP3: Weird Al Yankovic’s Holiday Greeting

MP3: “Yuletide Zeppelin” by Mojochronic

By The Time We All Get To Woodstock

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by 30daysout

woodstock_photo_pan

By the time I got to Woodstock it was already over.  I went to my very first rock concerts in 1969, and some of the artists mentioned from the stage the incredible groovy far-out gas that was something called Woodstock.  In October 1969 they booked this thing called a “Rock Jubilee” in Houston’s Sam Houston Coliseum, featuring the Byrds, Poco, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.  It was supposed to end around 6 p.m., but it went to about 10 and they finally yanked the plug on the Airplane.  Before they did that, Grace Slick from the stage said about Woodstock: “It was a gas, man.  Wish you could have been there.”

Well.  I was about 14 years old so I couldn’t have gotten there on my own, anyway.  Cut to 1970, just about one year later: I’m in 10th grade at Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, Texas.  One day in September, Janis Joplin (TJ grad ’60) visited the school with a few friends.  They just decided to drop in just before the lunchtime bell.  She had come back to Port Arthur for her 10th year class reunion, and she took the opportunity to visit and show her friends the place, and possibly to show the locals how famous she was.

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Woodstock Veterans To Appear at 40th Anniversary

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on May 5, 2009 by 30daysout

bethel-woods
Well, they’re calling it “Heroes Of Woodstock,” or the “Bethel Woods Music Festival” – it depends on where you look.  But on Saturday, August 15, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in upstate New York will host a music festival on the grounds of the original 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival.

The performers listed include the Levon Helm Band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Mountain (with Leslie West and Corky Laing), and Country Joe McDonald.  They’re not going to have it in a wild, open field – this festival will be in the lavish Bethel Woods Center for the Arts amphitheatre built on a hill overlooking the original Woodstock site, a dairy farm that hosted 400,000 people on August 15-17, 1969.

And of course, it won’t be “free,” as Woodstock was for its final day in 1969.  Top tickets are $69 (get it?), there’s a $40 seat and lawn tickets on the grass are, of course, $19.69.  There is also a full museum on the site dedicated to the Woodstock festival and the era, and I’ve read that it’s pretty good. 

Bethel Center For The Arts official website

Woodstock.com

MP3: “The Weight” by the Band (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Somebody To Love” by the Jefferson Airplane (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Southbound Train” by Mountain (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)” by Janis Joplin (live at Woodstock)

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Rockin’ Stocking 1960s

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , on December 5, 2008 by 30daysout

aluminum

Day Eight – Another stocking full of random Christmas songs, holiday cheer and just plain fun from the 1960s.  Groovy!

MP3: “The Chipmunk Song” by Alvin & the Chipmunks with Canned Heat

MP3: “Sock It To Me Santa” by Bob Seger & the Last Heard

MP3: “Christmas Trumpets/We Wish You A Very Merry Christmas” by Ray Anthony

MP3: “Snoopy’s Christmas” by the Royal Guardsmen

MP3: “Holiday On Skis” by Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani

MP3: “Someday At Christmas” by Stevie Wonder

MP3: “We Wish You A Marijuana Christmas and a Happy Cocaine” by David Peel & the Lower East Side

MP3: “Santa’s Doing The Horizonal Twist” by Kay Martin & Her Body Guards

MP3: “The Man With All The Toys” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Jingle Bell Rock” by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass