Archive for Creedence Clearwater Revival

(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

(More Than) 40 Years Out: Tranquility Base Here

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2012 by 30daysout

Buzz Aldrin on the moon, 1969.

On this day in 1969, man set foot on the moon for the very first time. Looking at the photographs the astronauts shot that day, the moon seems like a fairly peaceful place. In fact, they called the landing site “Tranquility Base.”

Back on Earth, things weren’t so tranquil. Americans marched on Washington, D.C., to protest our involvement in the Vietnam War. The story of the My Lai massacre, where women and children were lined up in a ditch and shot, broke in the news. British troops were deployed to try and calm tensions in Northern Ireland. And so on.

It seemed like, on that one Sunday afternoon and evening, everything and everyone in the world just kind of stopped – if only for a few minutes, while two humans kicked up dust on the lunar surface. Many of us watched the shadowy figures on TV, live and in glorious grainy black and white.

Probably nobody really stopped what they were doing, but a teenager in Texas back then thought it would have been really cool if they did. And if we would have paid attention for a while, maybe we would have stopped fighting and yelling long enough share a little bit of wonder and pride in human accomplishment.

For just a minute or two … then we could get right back to killing each other. Which is what happened anyway.

Maybe one day we’ll go back to the moon, but many people will tell you there are infinitely more important ways to spend our time and money. And I suppose they are right. Still, somebody is going to get back there eventually. Tranquility Base will always be there, ready and waiting for us to start dreaming again.

MP3: “Moonlight” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

MP3: “Yellow Moon” (live) by the Neville Brothers

MP3: “Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins” by The Byrds

MP3: “Silver Moon” by Michael Nesmith & the First National Band

MP3: “Halo ‘Round The Moon” by Steve Earle

MP3: “Moon Dawg” by The Beach Boys

MP3: “Man On The Moon” by R.E.M.

MP3: “Moonlight Drive” (live) by The Doors

MP3: “Armstrong” by John Stewart

MP3: “Blue Moon” by Elvis Presley

MP3: “Kiko and the Lavender Moon” by Los Lobos

MP3: “Bark At The Moon” by Ozzy Osbourne

MP3: “Mountains Of The Moon” (live) by The Grateful Dead

MP3: “Brain Damage/Eclipse” by Pink Floyd

Back to Black: The Magic of Mono

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , on April 12, 2012 by 30daysout

As I sit down to write this on a bleary-eyed early morning, I can hear the coffee maker click on automatically. My phone dings insistently to remind me of meetings, appointments and upcoming annoyances, then it offers up a morning tweet for dessert. In my pocket I there’s a little flash drive smaller than my thumb, carrying about 35 albums’ worth of music with a little room for more.

Technology has surely wiped some of the romance out of modern life; what did you expect? Old guys like me quickly get tiresome in referencing the past to recall the many ways that life was better – yeah, guilty as charged.

Thankfully, at my house there’s an easy way to shut up the old guy: slap some vinyl on the turntable, and crank it. With the resurgence of vinyl records we’ve all rediscovered our roots, and we are “remembering” our past, meaning: if we knew this at all, surely we forgot. Frankly, I forgot about mono.

Back in the day, record companies put out music in monophonic – as opposed to stereo – because they wanted their hit singles to sound good on AM radio and on the crappy sound systems that lived in most homes. Stereo was kind of an afterthought, and often you could hear stuff on the mono (meaning: “original version”) that didn’t show up on the stereo versions. Or so we’re told today.

When LPs nearly died and CDs came along, old music got remixed, remastered and repackaged. The resurgence of vinyl provided another opportunity to hear (and buy) the same old stuff once more and then we have the mono versions. I don’t know how many versions of Revolver or Highway 61 Revisited I want, but I certainly have more than I need. Mono is the aural version of watching a black-and-white movie: experiencing the past while not quite reliving it. Know what I mean? (I think I don’t.)

Hell, I didn’t know the Beatles did their albums in mono. I was just a kid when the Beatles were a real thing, and besides, I didn’t buy albums – just 45 singles. I knew about Brian Wilson’s famous deafness in one ear, and that’s why he did many of his masterpieces in mono; but I learned that only after I had gotten older.

So here we are, a decade deep into the 21st century, and we’re still spinning mono records on turntables. You gotta admit, that stuff sounds GOOD.

MP3: “Mr. Soul” (45 single) by Buffalo Springfield

MP3: “Run Through The Jungle” (45 single) by Creedence Clearwater Revival

MP3: “A Hazy Shade of Winter” (mono remaster) by Simon & Garfunkel

MP3: “All Tomorrow’s Parties” (45 single) by the Velvet Underground

MP3: “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (mono remaster) by the Beatles

MP3: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (45 single) by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “Help Me Rhonda” (mono album version) by the Beach Boys

Record Store Day official website


Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , on October 9, 2011 by 30daysout

(Editor’s Note: I wrote one Halloween post yesterday, then I realized we did this up big last year.  So this one is a repost, like many of the other Halloween items you’ll see in coming days and weeks.)

October is a fun month, because it has Halloween.  Adults who are otherwise intelligent and responsible like to dress up in stupid costumes and go to parties, while many others who don’t still remember when they used to go trick-or-treating as kids.   Churches and other religious types don’t much like Halloween, but I always thought that celebrating Halloween is sort of like facing your fears eye to eye, and spitting in the face of death.

And there are probably as many songs about Halloween – and related subjects – as there are Christmas tunes.  So let’s jump right in, and we’ll keep going to the graveyard throughout the month.

MP3: “Introduction To Horror” by Arch Oboler

MP3: “The Transylvania Twist” by Baron Daemoen & the Vampires

MP3: “The Creature From The Black Lagoon” by Dave Edmunds

MP3: “House Of Horrors” by Merv Griffin

MP3: “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by the Emersons

MP3: “Astro Zombies” by My Chemical Romance

MP3: “Halloween” by the Misfits

MP3: “Area 51” by the Flying Burrito Brothers

MP3: “Report From Grover’s Mill, New Jersey” (from “The War Of The Worlds” 1938 radio broadcast)

MP3: “It Came Out Of The Sky” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Singles, Part 9 – Siblings

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , on September 6, 2010 by 30daysout

Our Labor Day rock-a-thon continues with more singles on 45.  This time let’s listen to some rock and roll siblings.  We’ve already spun a few sibling acts: the Carpenters, with brother and sister Richard and Karen, as well as Phil and Don, better known as the Everly Brothers.

Let’s begin with the first family of New Orleans: the Neville Brothers.  You’ve probably seen us rant about how the Nevilles should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not to mention Art Neville and the Meters;  these boys are just about the greatest musicians on the planet.  The Nevilles have had some awesome albums, but their history on 45 single is woeful.  We did dig up “Yellow Moon,” the title track from their unsurpassed classic album from 1989.

MP3: “Yellow Moon” by the Neville Brothers

The Everly Brothers are no strangers to the top of the pop charts.  Between 1957 and 1965, the Bros scored 26 Top 40 singles to make them the most successful recording duo of all time.  We covered their 1984 comeback, but let’s listen to the 1964 “Gone, Gone, Gone” which was covered recently by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

MP3: “Gone, Gone, Gone” by the Everly Brothers

Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart

Canadian sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson form the nucleus of Heart, whom I once described as “Led Zeppelin with breasts.”  I’m sorry about that, because I really like Heart; their “Bebe Le Strange” single from 1980 truly rocks out.

MP3: “Bebe Le Strange” by Heart

Speaking of rocking out, let’s dip into some Iggy and the Stooges, featuring the mighty Scott Asheton on drums and the late, very great Ron Asheton on guitar.  When the Stooges cut their 1973 punk masterpiece Raw Power, Ron Asheton had been relegated to the bass to make room for guitarist James Williamson.  “Search And Destroy” was issued to radio stations with a mono and stereo mix on each side of a single; you have here the glorious mono mix.

MP3: “Search and Destroy” (mono) by Iggy and the Stooges

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The Midnight Special

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 13, 2009 by 30daysout


Sugar Land is a booming town located in the grassy flatlands just west of Houston, Texas.  Those who don’t live there just speed along the freeway, past the city’s strip centers and restaurants on their way down the Gulf Coast.  In that respect, nothing much has changed in just about 100 years –  back in the 1920s one didn’t go to Sugar Land unless you had to.

Walter Boyd surely didn’t want to go there in 1918; he soon found that the sugar plantations and sugar refinery may have given Sugar Land its name, but the town was best known as the location of a Texas prison.   Boyd killed one of his relatives in a fight over a woman, and he was sentenced to 35 years in the penitentiary.  Because he was black, Boyd was sent to the segregated Harlem prison just west of the bigger Central Unit where the white prisoners were kept.  Jailers soon discovered that Walter Boyd wasn’t even the prisoner’s real name – it was actually Huddie Ledbetter.

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Halloween Pot Luck, Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2008 by 30daysout

It has been pointed out that if we post something called “Halloween Pot Luck,” as we did yesterday, possibly it should have something to do with Halloween.  Well, OK … but it was a nice photo, eh?  Anyway, let’s try again with some genuine Halloween music.  Enjoy your Halloween, remember to use your powers for good and not evil, and be safe tonight. 

MP3: “Werewolves of London” (live) by Warren Zevon

MP3: “Wake The Dead” by Alice Cooper

MP3: “It Came Out Of The Sky” (live) by Creedence Clearwater Revival

One for the ladies!

MP3: “Buried Alive” by Motörhead

MP3: “Nightmare” by Ozzy Osbourne

MP3: “Long Black Veil” (live) by Johnny Cash

MP3: “Sympathy For The Devil” by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “Loving The Alien” by David Bowie

MP3: “Zombie Zoo” by Tom Petty

MP3: “Friend Of The Devil” (live) by the Grateful Dead

Classic Rockers – Fall 2008 edition

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 24, 2008 by 30daysout


Way back in 1978, the Grateful Dead had this hare-brained (drug-fueled) idea that if they played near the Great Pyramids in Egypt during a total eclipse of the moon and wired up one of the ancient burial rooms as an echo chamber then … something cosmic would happen.  It didn’t, and now you can hear the proof for yourself.  Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978, a three-disc set (2 CDs, 1 DVD), is a record of a lackluster concert with few highlights – “Fire On The Mountain” has a little more energy than most of the stuff here, possibly because it was a fairly new song at the time.  For Deadheads only; especially the awful home-movie DVD.

MP3: “Fire On The Mountain” (live) by the Grateful Dead

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Cool Covers: “Fortunate Son”

Posted in Cool Covers with tags , , on October 14, 2008 by 30daysout


John Fogerty wrote the perfect statement of righteous rage in the late 1960s: “Fortunate Son.”  Creedence Clearwater Revival’s version of the song reached No. 4 on the pop charts in 1969; Fogerty has said it was inspired by watching David Eisenhower and Julie Nixon, the daughter and grandson of Presidents, living their privileged lives on TV.  The song appears on Willy and the Poor Boys, which has just been reissued (again) by Fantasy Records as part of a 40th anniversary celebration; the version included here is a live cut which appears as an extra on the new CD.

Todd Snider is a singer/songwriter from Oregon who’s been knocking around Austin lately; his new album Peace Queer features a stripped-down version of “Fortunate Son” that veers closer to raw blues – it’s just as angry as John Fogerty was four decades ago.  (You can download the entire Peace Queer EP at Snider’s website; just “buy” it for $0.00!)

And a footnote: David Eisenhower enlisted in the Navy reserves to escape Vietnam, and today Julie Nixon Eisenhower supports Barack Obama. 

MP3: “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (live)

MP3: “Fortunate Son” by Todd Snider

John Fogerty official website

Todd Snider official website

Rock Moment: John Fogerty, 1975

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on April 28, 2008 by 30daysout

Blogkeeper’s Note: Occasionally we will feature “Rock Moments,” which are … hell, why lie?  They are just things we want to write about, and attach a few cool songs to.

For a short while, Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of the country’s top bands.  But after they broke up in 1972, John Fogerty stumbled with his first solo album.  Blue Ridge Rangers, from 1973, was interesting because Fogerty played all the instruments – but it was country, and very unexciting country at that.

That was when Fogerty’s fight with Fantasy Records – which issued all of Creedence’s albums – came to a head.  Fantasy had the rights for eight albums from Fogerty, but John wanted out because he felt the company was ripping him off.  David Geffen and Asylum Records stepped in and made a deal to allow Fogerty to record again.

The result, John Fogerty, came out in 1975 on Asylum and it was Fogerty’s triumphant return to rock and roll.  “Rockin’ All Over the World,” “The Wall” and “Almost Saturday Night” had the righteous ring of vintage Creedence, and although it had a few cover songs, it was a great album.  After that triumph, Fogerty went into hiding while he worked out his legal problems and wouldn’t surface again until 1985 with Centerfield.

MP3: Rockin’ All Over The World

MP3: Dream Song