Archive for Jimmy Page

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Psychedelic Relics, Part 2

Posted in Lost Classics!, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2010 by 30daysout

Pretty much every band around in the mid-1960s got around to cutting a “psychedelic” album or two, that is, if the band lasted long enough.  The Byrds got freaky with “Eight Miles High” and the Beatles blew everybody’s mind with Revolver, and everyone followed suit.

Today we are going to take a look at some latter-period work from British Invasion bands that followed in the footsteps of the Fab Four.  If they lasted long enough to reach 1967-1970, pretty much everyone of that era had to cut their own druggy tunes for better or worse.

The Hollies came along in 1963 with crisp, bright harmonies and hooky songs that made it to the top of the pop charts.  “Stop, Stop, Stop,” “Bus Stop,” “On A Carousel,” “Carrie Anne” and many others were pleasant, melodic and sounded great on AM radio.  The Hollies were led by vocalists Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks and Graham Nash, who were also the main songwriters.

Perhaps a little jaded by their pop success, the Hollies got psychedelic with Evolution, their album from 1967.  The harmonies were still firmly in place, Clarke-Hicks-Nash were still the songwriters, but the instrumentation now included some fuzz guitar and trippy drumming.  “Have You Ever Loved Somebody” is a perfect example – it had just enough psychedelic energy and pop smarts to still be a chart hit (it was covered by the Everly Brothers and the Searchers, who had the hit version).

Following the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper blueprint, the Hollies had their own sitar-spiced tune, “Heading For A Fall,” and some baroque Anglophilia, “Ye Olde Toffee Shop,” complete with fey harpsichord.  But what makes Evolution listenable, and even memorable, are the vocal arrangements.  “You Need Love” and “When Your Light Turned On” shows that the Hollies were a formidable band on a level with the Kinks, the Who, the Stones, etc.

But the seeds of discord had already been sown: by the next year, 1968, Graham Nash grew impatient with the endless string of pop singles and would leave Merrie Olde England and the Hollies behind.  He turned up in Laurel Canyon, and you know the rest.  Clarke and Hicks would soldier on with replacement singer Terry Sylvester, and the Hollies would go into the 1970s with huge hits like “Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)” and “The Air That I Breathe.”

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It Might Get Loud

Posted in News with tags , , , on August 14, 2009 by 30daysout

A new documentary about three rock guitarists … the trailer makes it look awesome.

More clips available here.  I recommend the fourth one.

It Might Get Loud official website

Better Than Clapton? Blasphemy!

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by 30daysout


Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood roll into Houston tonight for a stop on their current tour.  It’s always a pleasure to see Clapton, particularly when he’s not in one of his blues modes, or his unplugged modes.  Nothing is better than being in the same room with this awesome guitarist when he cuts loose on a rock song – you certainly want to agree with that classic 1960s graffiti: “Clapton Is God.”

But is Eric Clapton the best guitarist in rock?  Most people would agree, others (particularly those who like to start fights in bars) would disagree.  A few years ago Rolling Stone magazine listed the “100 Greatest Guitarists in Rock,” and Clapton wound up No. 4 on their list.  That list alone could start about a million bar fights, but anyway… Who could believably be considered a greater guitarist than Clapton?  Let’s take a look at five candidates.

1. Jimi Hendrix – During only a few years in the international spotlight (1967-1970), Hendrix managed to accomplish more than many other guitarists do in a lifetime.  Rightfully named No. 1 on Rolling Stone‘s list, nobody has ever come close to this guy – not even Eric Clapton.

MP3: “Little Wing” (alternate version) by the Jimi Hendrix Experience

2. Jeff  Beck – Clapton’s successor in the Yardbirds, Beck certainly has a style and technique that is all his own.  He’s managed to graft jazz fusion into a ferocious rock style.  Beck has often sacrificed commercial success for experimentalism, which makes for some fascinating (and sometimes boring) albums.

MP3: “Sweet Little Angel” by Jeff Beck w/ Rod Stewart & Ron Wood 

3. Jimmy Page – The third Yardbirds guitarist and the mastermind behind Led Zeppelin, Page is a powerful guitarist – and the sides he cut with Zeppelin in the late 1960s-early 1970s still wield a mighty influence today.

MP3: “Achilles Last Stand” by Led Zeppelin

4. Peter Green – The troubled genius from the first, bluesy incarnation of Fleetwood Mac may actually be a better pure blues guitarist than Clapton.  He was no slouch as a songwriter, either; he wrote the song attached here.  Nobody played like Peter Green – and today, neither does Peter Green.

MP3: “Black Magic Woman” by Fleetwood Mac

5. Stevie Ray Vaughan – This Texas boy thrilled audiences before leaving us way too soon but he left behind some classic recordings and live shows.  It may a take a few listens for newbies to figure out what makes this guy so great; listening to a Stevie Ray performance is like unwrapping an unexpected Christmas gift.

MP3: “Pride and Joy” (live) by Stevie Ray Vaughan

BONUS: “Little Wing” (live) by Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood

Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time list

Photo courtesy of Eric Clapton’s official website  

Walkin’ To New Orleans: Phil Phillips

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 17, 2009 by 30daysout

Phil Phillips

We’re taking a trip from Texas to New Orleans and plan to get there in time for Mardi Gras.  Along the way, we’re revisiting some of the interesting characters we’ve met in past years.  Today we stop in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

It’s a long way from crawfish Louisiana to a sun-drenched Caribbean island, but Phil Phillips made that trip in 1984 – or rather, his song did.  “Sea Of Love,” written and sung by Phil Phillips, soared (almost) to the top of the pop charts in 1959 and in 1984 it nearly accomplished the same feat.

“Sea Of Love,” which sold more than 2 million records upon its initial release, is one of the biggest hits ever to come out of South Louisiana.  In 1984, when the song went back to the top 20 thanks to a cover by the Honeydrippers (Robert Plant and Jimmy Page), Phillips was basking in the spotlight once again.  “The song never seemed to die out,” he said at the time.  The Honeydrippers’ rock-star version played out in a popular music video as a sunny lament on an island somewhere.

The original “Sea Of Love” was recorded in Lake Charles by entrepreneur George Khoury (listed as a co-writer with Phillips) and producer Eddie Shuler.  Backed by a bizarrely crooning background chorus, the song reached No. 2 on the pop charts five decades ago. 

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