Archive for Rod Stewart

Video Du Jour: Rod Stewart

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on October 31, 2012 by 30daysout

Yeah, we know it’s Halloween but let us skip ahead in the holiday timeline and present to you the first Christmas song of the season, courtesy of Mr. Rod Stewart. This is much scarier than anything else we could come up with for today!

Rod’s new album Merry Christmas Baby came out yesterday (Oct. 30), just in time to make everyone’s gift-giving lists this year. Lest you think this Christmas album is going to be different from all the others, we present to you “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

Rod Stewart official web site

Old Guys and Rock & Roll

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2012 by 30daysout

Paul McCartney, at age 70, is a textbook example of how old guys can still rock.

It used to be very true that rock and roll was not made by old people. “Old” used to mean people over age 30. So what happened?

Bob Dylan (age 71) just released Tempest to glowing reviews – it should appear on the upper reaches of the Billboard album charts in a few days, but probably not at No. 1. Paul McCartney (age 70) is currently performing close to three-hour sets on his “On The Run” tour, which began last summer in New York City. Roger Waters (age 69) and Rod Stewart (age 67) are also touring, while relative youngster Bruce Springsteen (age 62) can’t be dragged off a stage for anything.

Paul Simon (age 70), Crosby, Stills & Nash (average age 69) and the Beach Boys (average age 70) have live DVDs and/or CDs from recent tours. Van Morrison (age 67) is about to release his 34th studio album, Born To Sing: No Plan B, in early October. Mark Knopfler (age 63) and ZZ Top (average age 60) have strong new albums out, Neil Young (age 66) is readying a new album and tour, and the Rolling Stones (average age 68) keep threatening to do something to celebrate their 50th anniversary. And you can’t stop Willie Nelson (age 79)!

So what gives? Is there something in the water?

Well, pretty much all of these guys mentioned above are big draws on the concert circuit so one can cynically say that the lure of the big bucks is enough to get these codgers out of their rockers. Nobody makes money off albums any more, so each of these acts will go on the road to support an album if they haven’t already. Hell, Dylan’s been touring constantly since the early 1980s.

You think maybe it’s an indication that music being produced today somehow doesn’t measure up to those classics of the past? Perhaps – nothing sends concertgoers to the restrooms/beer vendors faster than “a new song off our latest album.” Even superstars like McCartney and Dylan know better than to populate their concerts with new material.

And it’s tempting to say worthless stuff like “do you think we’ll be paying to see Bon Iver or Green Day live in 15 years?” Because unless you are a total idiot, you know the answer is yes. It may not be Bon Iver or Green Day specifically, but it could be that Weezer reunion or the surviving members of Mumford and Sons or the remnants of Radiohead.

Because it’s not necessarily about who is playing, but what they’re playing. It’s rock and roll, and despite what smartasses over the years keep saying, it’s not dead.

It’s pretty damn old, and it’s not pretty (take a close look at the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone). But rock and roll is still alive because we want it to be. The footsoldiers of rock and roll are sticking around because we want them to – the audience changes more than the artists, and as we discover new acts we like, we also go back and appreciate the past. My kids know more about the Beatles and the Stones and the Who than I ever did, when I was a teenager and those boys had brand-new songs on the radio every day.

Women seem to know better, they know when it’s time to fade away – although you can make a pretty good case for rockers like Joan Jett and Bonnie Raitt being here for quite a while. Pop artists are another thing entirely: Madonna has well overstayed her welcome and the decline of Katy Perry, Britney Spears, et. al. won’t be pretty.

Perhaps it’s best just not to think about these things. We’re all going to get to the end of the trail – literally and figuratively – one day. Rock and roll is here to distract us from that brutal truth, to keep us dancing until we can’t any more.

So. The Rolling Stones may tour next year? Don’t know about you, but I’m gonna buy a ticket. For a few hours, I’m gonna be young again.

Live: Rod Stewart & Stevie Nicks, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , on August 10, 2012 by 30daysout

Gotta hand it to Rod Stewart – he’s a consummate entertainer. (Photo and Instagram by Art Meripol)

Have to admit – the prospects of a live rock show at the tail end of a busy week weren’t exactly appealing. But Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks, concluding their U.S. tour together at the Toyota Center on Thursday (8/9) won us over.

Ace photographer Art Meripol, in town on assignment, and I decided to forgo the regular cameras and fool around with our iPhones. In the process, the music drew us in.

Stevie Nicks, lookin’ good on the big screen.

Serving as opening act, Nicks came out smokin’ – her crack band, led by guitar whiz Waddy Wachtel, ripped out a rousing cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll,” and we were off to the races. Four songs in she deployed “Dreams” by demurely admitting “I didn’t know this till recently … but this was Fleetwood Mac’s only No. 1 hit.”  Hey babe, I learned that off the internet (Wikipedia is your friend). Stevie then doubled down with “Gold Dust Woman” from the monster Rumours (1977) and her solo hit “Stand Back.”

Following a long (maybe a little too long) story about visiting wounded veterans in Washington, we got “Soldier’s Angel,” inspired by those visits. Then, thankfully, “Rhiannon,”  and to close it out, “Edge Of Seventeen” and “Landslide.” You gotta hand it to Stevie Nicks: of all the rocker chicks from the 1970s, she’s pretty much one of the few who have survived intact to remain interesting today.

And then we have Rod Stewart. We like to pick on the guy because he’s, well, Rod Stewart. But you gotta hand it to him – he’s a consummate entertainer.

In a roughly two-hour set Rod played 19 songs, 11 of which were cover versions. At least he didn’t dip into the Great American Songbook for them. He opened with the O Jays’ “Love Train” and hit his stride later with a cover of Sam Cooke’s “Having A Party.”

But happily Stewart’s set was front-loaded with his biggest hits, including “Tonight’s The Night,” which came early in the set. Unfortunately, so did “Young Turks.” After that, though, Rod showed some slides of the kids and grandkids like a beaming dad then dedicated his rewrite of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” to all of ’em.

We used iPhones instead of cameras … and so did everyone else.

He invited out a group of local ladies called the Houston Strings to join him and members of his band at the front of the stage for his “Unplugged and Seated” portion of the show. Playing (mostly) acoustically, they offered shimmering versions of Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately” and Cat Stevens’ “The First Cut Is The Deepest.”

Then he pointed out how his record label screwed up way back: for the first single off Stewart’s landmark album Every Picture Tells A Story (1971), the label decided on “Reason To Believe.” The song they didn’t have much faith in, “Maggie May,” they stuck on the B-side. “Thankfully a DJ in Cleveland flipped it over and started playing it (“Maggie May”) on the radio,” said Stewart, “and that’s why we’re all here tonight!” Which is how he introduced “Reason To Believe.”

“Maggie May,” the monster hit, would close out the show after rockin’ out with Chuck Berry and Creedence covers, as well as “You’re In My Heart” and “Hot Legs.” Have to admit, though, we didn’t stay for the encore, “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” which was a question the close-to-sold-out crowd answered a long time before.

YouTube: “The First Cut Is The Deepest” from the Toyota Center concert

Faces in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Finally!

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on December 7, 2011 by 30daysout

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland announced yesterday its 2012 class of inductees, and it includes the rockin’ British quintet the Faces. Finally!

The Faces rocked the late 1960s and early 1970s like no one else, including the Rolling Stones.  First known as the Small Faces, the core group of keyboardist Ian McLagan, bassist Ronnie Lane and drummer Kenney Jones found themselves at a crossroads when lead singer Steve Marriott left the group.

Salvation came in the form of two new members: guitarist Ron Wood and singer Rod Stewart.  So in 1970 the Small Faces became simply the Faces, and they came on like a bunch of rowdy boozers who just happened to be great musicians.  With Lane (and sometimes McLagan) the group already had strong songwriting, but Stewart and Wood contributed some great numbers too, like the classic “Stay With Me.”

The induction includes both versions of the band. Both Stewart and Wood will become second-time members of the Rock Hall (Stewart was inducted as a solo artist in 1994 and Wood as part of the Rolling Stones in 1989) for the Small Faces/The Faces.

“Well it’s quite a thrill and honor to make it in the Hall of Fame a second time,” Stewart said in a statement. “We (The Faces) were always synonymous with a good party and with this list of fellow artists being inducted I’m looking forward to (it) … and it’s a hell of a good reason to reunite and celebrate with my old mates.”

Other inductees announced Wednesday include Guns n’ Roses,  the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the late singer/songwriter Laura Nyro and trippy-dippy singer/songwriter Donovan.

Other inductees include Freddie King for early influence; rock promoter Don Kirshner, who died earlier this year, receives the Ahmet Ertegun award; and Tom Dowd, Glyn Johns and Cosimo Matassa will be honored for musical excellence.

The Rock and Roll Hall of fame induction ceremony will be held in Cleveland on April 14.

If you are in or around the Austin area, you can still get a healthy dose of prime Faces by catching a performance of Ian McLagan’s Bump Band.  “Mac” still plays free happy hours (at the Lucky Lounge, next door to Antone’s) and will happily take requests for Faces songs, although don’t ask him to perform any by “Big Nose” (guess who).  It is, truly, the World’s Greatest Happy Hour. He says he’s gonna be there this Thursday, too! McLagan keeps alive the spirit and songs of Ronnie Lane, who died in 1997.  Congratulations on your long-deserved honor, Mac!

Ian McLagan official website

YouTube: “Tin Soldier” by the Small Faces (with P.P. Arnold)

YouTube: “All or Nothing” by the Small Faces

YouTube: “Stay With Me,” by the Faces

YouTube: “Maybe I’m Amazed” by the Faces

Lookin’ at me, lookin’ at you

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2011 by 30daysout

Ah Betty ... how could you?

Just a few weeks ago we were all bothered about yet another female celebrity caught naked, after someone hacked into her private cellphone stash. I still can’t figure what’s the problem – she took the pictures herself and obviously wanted somebody besides herself to see them (otherwise she could have just used a mirror to look at her own ass).

Maybe she doesn’t want us all to see these photos; maybe she just doesn’t want us all to see these photos for free. Maybe she would rather we pay 10 bucks for a movie ticket to get a glimpse of her ass … I don’t know.

The news said the FBI is investigating to find out who stole the pictures and leaked them; maybe the actress wants to give him a commission for getting her name out there. Wow, good to know there aren’t more dangerous criminals that the FBI should be looking for.

We live in a world of self absorption and technological privilege. The internet has opened up our lives with a huge picture window that isn’t always so easy to close.

Meanwhile, we fuel the gossip whores by listening and watching. Somebody’s always watching – and it’s no wonder, because somebody’s always putting something out there to watch.

MP3: “Sirius/Eye In The Sky” by the Alan Parsons Project

MP3: “TV Eye” by The Stooges

MP3: “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrisette

MP3: “Private Eyes” by Hall and Oates

MP3: “You Lookin’ At Me Lookin’ At You” by Ozzy Osbourne

MP3: “Peek A Boo” by Devo

MP3: “I Turn My Camera On” by Spoon

MP3: “Infatuation” by Rod Stewart

MP3: “The Boy In The Bubble” by Paul Simon

MP3: “Every Breath You Take” by the Police

Review: “Going Back” by Phil Collins

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2010 by 30daysout

Artists have been recording cover songs for years, and putting them out as singles, or b-sides. However, the trend recently has been to put out an entire album of hits recorded by others. Rod Stewart sold millions of CDs using this formula, and now Phil Collins is hoping to follow in “Big Nose’s” footsteps with his latest batch of Motown tunes titled, Going Back.

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Review: “Soulbook,” Rod Stewart

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by 30daysout

Music Review Rod Stewart

OK, enough is enough.  Yeah, I know Rod Stewart has been selling a shitload of records with his “Songbook” series.  And I realize that boomer nostalgia is golden and it makes those cash registers ring.  And really, an album full of Rod Stewart covering mostly Motown songs is probably a good thing to sell at Starbucks and Wal-Mart around Christmastime.  But man, I listened to this a couple of times and really got a miserable feeling.

Because despite the title, nothing here even remotely resembles “soul.”  When songs like “My Cherie Amour” and “Tracks Of My Tears” were big hits, nobody really considered them “soul” songs – they were more like “pop” songs, you know?  Rod also covers a few Sam Cooke tunes and duets with people like Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Hudson but this is all pretty cold stuff.  Aside from a few high spots – his cover of Tony Joe White’s “Rainy Night In Georgia” comes close to being interesting and his version of the O’ Jays’ “Love Train” is peppy – everything here is pretty slick and overplanned.

Maybe Rod could have picked some lesser-known tunes, maybe he could have played them more “live” with less slickness.  But he didn’t.  So we have Soulbook – all cleaned up for the “American Idol” crowd and pretty soulless.  “It’s The Same Old Song,” indeed.

MP3: “It’s The Same Old Song”

YouTube: Soulbook photo session – this is what it’s all about, I suppose.

Rod Stewart official website

Lost Classics! Long John Baldry

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , on May 27, 2008 by 30daysout

Once upon a time, there were places on the radio dial that you could go to hear things you had never heard before.  And sometimes, you’d never hear those things again.  FM radio, in the magic late 1960s and early 1970s, was a wonder.  Especially late at night, when DJs had utterly free rein in the music they played and the substances they consumed, legal or illegal.  Kinda like the audience.

Anyway, one of the amazing artists I first heard late at night on KLOL radio beaming out of Houston was the British blues belter Long John Baldry.  With a deep, smooth voice that could get rough as sandpaper when he wished, Baldry hit No. 1 in the U.K. in 1967 with a ditty called “Let The Heartaches Begin.”  He also played in a band called Bluesology with one Reginald Dwight on piano.  This pianist tried to commit suicide over some woman and Baldry – who was openly gay – talked the piano player out of marrying the woman.

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It’s Time To Enshrine The Faces!

Posted in Rock Rant, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 20, 2008 by 30daysout

So nice to see that Madonna is now a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum – now that’s out of the way, let’s get down to some serious business.  Like placing the great Faces in the Hall of Fame.

The Faces rocked the late 1960s and early 1970s like no one else, including the Rolling Stones.  First known as the Small Faces, the core group of keyboardist Ian McLagan, bassist Ronnie Lane and drummer Kenney Jones found themselves at a crossroads when lead singer Steve Marriott left the group.

Salvation came in the form of two new members: guitarist Ron Wood and singer Rod Stewart.  So in 1970 the Small Faces became simply the Faces, and they came on like a bunch of rowdy boozers who just happened to be great musicians.  With Lane (and sometimes McLagan) the group already had strong songwriting, but Stewart and Wood contributed some great numbers too, like the classic “Stay With Me.”

Continue reading