Archive for Rolling Stones

Chuck Berry’s Covers

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , on February 4, 2012 by 30daysout

Chuck Berry, still rockin' at age 85.

Long past the half-century mark, rock and roll is now nearing senior citizen status. Yesterday we marked the 53rd anniversary of the deaths of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens, and we’ve had some tragic losses in the past couple weeks (Etta James, Johnny Otis, etc.).

But one of our greatest original rockers is still with us – Chuck Berry, still rockin’ (sometimes) at age 85. He has some health issues, but he apparently still performs at the Blueberry Hill restaurant in St. Louis, where he lives.

Berry, of course, is the wellspring of some of rock’s greatest songs: “Johnny B. Goode,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and many more. Rockers following in his giant footsteps have all burned through a Chuck Berry song or two, so today let’s celebrate the legacy of this great performer with a handful of Berrys – by himself and by others.

MP3: “Roll Over Beethoven” by the Beatles

MP3: “Sweet Little Sixteen” (live) by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “Promised Land” by Elvis Presley

MP3: “Around and Around” (live) by the Grateful Dead

MP3: “Rock and Roll Music” by the Beach Boys

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

MP3: “Memphis” by the Faces

YouTube: “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry and Bruce Springsteen

MP3: “You Can’t Catch Me” by Chuck Berry

MP3: “No Particular Place To Go” by Chuck Berry

MP3: “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” by Chuck Berry

YouTube: “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry

Video Du Jour: The Rolling Stones

Posted in News with tags , , , on November 25, 2011 by 30daysout

What better way to kick off the holiday season: the Rolling Stones offer a gift idea for the rocker in your life! The new video Some Girls: Live In Texas ’78 features Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Co. rockin’ through 17 Stones favorites on a hot July night in Fort Worth, Texas.

The video is available in conjunction with the newly released and remastered Some Girls, the 1978 album that featured such hits as “Miss You” and “Beast of Burden.” The tour supporting that album is where this video comes from – the performances are polished and professional but ferocious, even for the Stones.

Our buddy Ian McLagan, now a happy resident of Austin, supported the Stones on this tour – look quickly and you’ll catch a glimpse of him here and there.

You can get Some Girls: Live In Texas ’78 as a DVD (or Blu-Ray) alone or in a combo with an audio CD of the concert.  It’s available at your favorite video/music store, or at Amazon.com.

Rock and Roll Identity Crisis

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2011 by 30daysout

Axl Rose with guitarist DJ Ashba, ostensibly Slash's replacement - is it really GNR?

Walking into Houston’s Toyota Center for the big Guns N’ Roses show last week, we overheard people asking each other incredulously: “Slash is NOT with them???” Well, no. The guitarist left in 1996, on not-so-friendly terms with lead singer Axl Rose. As did pretty much all of the other original band members. So who was playing that Friday night in Houston?

Was it Axl and a bunch of no-name scabs? Hardly – this version of Guns N’ Roses can certainly deliver the goods and is totally worthy of the name. But what happens when other popular rock groups hit the road with just one or two original members in tow? Is it still the same group we know and love?

Lynyrd Skynyrd's current guitar lineup includes (from left) Rickey Medlocke, Sparky Matjeka, original member Gary Rossington and bassist Robert Kearns.

Just a week before GNR, we saw Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top in Austin. Skynyrd has had more attrition than any other rock band in memory, after a plane crash that killed original lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister and backup singer Cassie Gaines. Other original members have also died or retired; the current Skynyrd lineup contains only one original member, guitarist Gary Rossington.

Skynyrd became stars in 1973 with their debut album, so the crash meant that the classic lineup was in the national limelight for only about four years. The new Skynyrd lineup has been together, with various members, since 1987. So is it Lynyrd Skynyrd? Probably it’s a really good tribute band – paying tribute to itself.

In some cases it’s clear cut: it can never be the Rolling Stones unless Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts are involved, but if John Fogerty hired a new rhythm section and toured as Creedence, why not? If Van Halen tours with David Lee Roth, the only person who may dispute the authenticity would be Sammy Hagar, sitting in his living room. Classic ’70s bands Foreigner and Journey hired new lead singers and have both re-recorded their old hits – Walmart shoppers picking up the new CDs probably don’t know, or don’t care.

It gets stickier with bands with well-known, or even beloved, members playing behind the lead singer. Can Bruce Springsteen tour without Clarence Clemons and still call it the E Street Band? Heartbreaking as that may be, that’s probably what he will do. If Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston hit the road next year, can they still call themselves the Beach Boys? Probably. The Kinks? Only if Ray and Dave Davies are both on board.

What's Bruce Springsteen gonna do without Clarence Clemons?

Some years ago David Gilmour fronted a Pink Floyd lineup that included original members Rick Wright and Nick Mason, but not Roger Waters. It worked for millions, if not for Roger. The Who have been diminished by half, but Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend still sell a lot of tickets under the Who banner. If Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones can talk Robert Plant into a tour, Led Zeppelin will most certainly pack ’em in.

And I suppose that’s what it all boils down to: will the audience accept a lineup that isn’t original? Ask Axl Rose, while he’s counting the gate receipts from the current Guns N’ Roses tour, and the answer is yes – in some cases.

– Denny Angelle

YouTube: Guns N’ Roses playing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” in Houston (the sound is horrible, but you can see it was a crowd favorite).

This one’s MUCH better – “Welcome To The Jungle” on 11/17 in New Jersey

Labor Day Disaster Special

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2011 by 30daysout

Man, it’s been a rough summer. I don’t have to tell you, but: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, drought, heat, wildfires and so on. I’m waiting for that plague of locusts next, you know?

But it’s not like us to bitch (much) so we thought we’d compile some disaster – natural and otherwise – songs for your Labor Day playlist. There are plenty more elsewhere on this blog, so scroll down and pick ’em up!

MP3: “Cities On Flame With Rock and Roll” by Blue Öyster Cult

MP3: “Black Rain” by Ozzy Osbourne

MP3: “I Feel The Earth Move” by Carole King

MP3: “Fire and Rain” by the Isley Brothers

MP3: “Hotter Than Hell” (live) by KISS

MP3: “Hot Thing” by Big Star

MP3: “Burnin’ For You” by Blue Öyster Cult

MP3: “Behold the Hurricane” by the Horrible Crowes

MP3: “Walking In A Hurricane” by John Fogerty

MP3: “When The Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin

MP3: “This Wheel’s On Fire” by the Byrds

MP3: “My City Of Ruins” by Bruce Springsteen

MP3: “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones

More Disaster Playlists:

End of the World, Part 1

End of the World, Part 2

Welcome to Hell … or Houston, it’s all the same

Ridin’ Out The Storm

By the way …

Hurricane Warning!

Fire, Flooding, Greed and Vengeance

Hurricane Warning: Shelter from the Storm

 

Homework assignment:

News story from the Associated Press: “An Extreme and Exhausting Year”

Ian McLagan’s 11 career-defining tracks

Posted in News with tags , , , , on August 4, 2011 by 30daysout

The always-great Ian McLagan.

The great Ian McLagan – keyboardist for the Faces, a Texas resident and friend of this blog – has been cornered long enough to talk a little about the career-defining tracks he’s either played on, sung on, or written.

Mac just finished a handful of festival shows with the reunited Faces (with Mick Hucknall on lead vocals, replacing Rod Stewart) and now he’s touring the United Kingdom and Europe doing solo gigs.  He won’t be back in Austin until October … so in the meantime check out this amazing portfolio of music by the Small Faces, the Faces, the Rolling Stones and more.

Ian McLagan on his top 11, as told to MusicRadar magazine

End of The World, Part 2

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by 30daysout

Everybody’s having a good laugh about the prediction that Saturday will be the End of the World. And yes, we’ve snickered about it right here. But look around – there’ve been tornadoes, tsunamis, wildfires and floods, maybe that’s a sign of the End Times.

All of our heroes – Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Arnold Schwarzenegger – are crumbling before our very eyes. Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga are on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend – another sign?

You can’t ignore these signs. You definitely cannot laugh them away. I’m getting a case of beer on Saturday morning, just in case, and hoping I don’t have a hangover the morning after.

More signs of the coming apocalypse

MP3: “Earth Died Screaming” by Tom Waits

MP3: “In The Year 2525” by Zager & Evans

MP3: “Southern Comfort” by Terry Allen

MP3: “Jesus Is Coming Soon” by the Dixie Hummingbirds

MP3: “Are You Afraid To Die” by the Louvin Brothers

MP3: “The End of The World” by the Carpenters

MP3: “Soylent Green” by Carbon Silicon

MP3: “Until The End of the World” (live) by U2

MP3: “My Apocalypse” by Metallica

MP3: “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “The End” by the Doors

MP3: “Party At Ground Zero” by Fishbone

100 Years Out: Robert Johnson

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , on May 6, 2011 by 30daysout

In the dim early part of the last century, a bluesman named Robert Johnson claimed he sold his soul to the devil, as if to explain his otherworldly skills in writing, singing and playing the blues. If that really happened, right now Robert Johnson is burning in hell while we’re still talking and writing about him, and listening to his music. It means that Robert Johnson beat the devil.

Sunday will mark the 100th birthday of this mysterious figure. In this age of instant tweets and non-stop media, it’s almost impossible to know as little about an entertainer as we do about Robert Johnson. We do know that between 1932 until his death in 1938, Johnson was constantly on the move, playing juke joints and roadhouses across the South. He occasionally played gigs in places like Chicago and St. Louis, and the 42 songs we know him by today were cut during two epic sessions in San Antonio and Dallas.

The two things that have survived over the years are of course the legend of Robert Johnson and the devil, and the music. Robert Johnson’s music is terrifying in its stark realism, and the dark heart of his greatest songs form the foundation of rock and roll. No need to run down the list of artists influenced by Robert Johnson – you can hear it below.

MP3: “Me and the Devil Blues” by Robert Johnson

MP3: “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day” by Robert Johnson

MP3: “Come On In My Kitchen” by Robert Johnson

MP3: “Preachin’ Blues (Up Jumped The Devil)” by Robert Johnson

MP3: “Last Fair Gone Down” by Eric Clapton

MP3: “Ramblin’ On My Mind” (live) by Lucinda Williams

MP3: “They’re Red Hot” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

MP3: “Hellhound On My Trail” by Fleetwood Mac

MP3: “Traveling Riverside Blues” by Led Zeppelin

MP3: “Crossroads” by Cyndi Lauper w/Johnny Lang

MP3: “(I Believe I’ll) Dust My Broom” by Todd Rundgren

MP3: “Love In Vain” by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “Sweet Home Chicago” by the Steve Miller Band

MP3: “Stop Breaking Down” by the White Stripes

MP3: “Crossroads” by Cream

On The Trail of the Hellhound – 30 Days Out post from 2008

Record Store Day Buyer’s Guide

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2011 by 30daysout

Okay, this may seem really half-assed but today we’re going to piggyback on (steal?) a great article in Goldmine magazine where they rate the best and worst of the exclusive vinyl available on Record Store Day. That’s Saturday, at your friendly neighborhood record store.

You can read the Goldmine story here, but we just want to touch on a couple of their top picks … keep in mind, this is highly subjective. You really ought to check out the complete list of exclusive vinyl available on Record Store Day, and if something really appeals to you then plan to get up early on Saturday and line up outside your local record emporium so you have a better chance of getting your hands on what you want. There will be some music aficinados like you, but there will be a lot of jerks who just want to get hold of this rare stuff so they can put it up on eBay.

Goldmine is salivating most over a Jimi Hendrix 7″ single, “Fire”b/w”Touch You.”  The 45 has an alternate version of “Fire,” which appeared on the West Coast Seattle Boy box set. The real find is on the flip side: “Touch You,”  a previously unreleased 1967 studio recording made by the original Experience during sessions for what would become Electric Ladyland. Very cool, indeed.

The other cool stuff the magazine is anticipating seems mostly to come from vintage acts – a live LP from Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, unreleased Derek and the Dominos, live Roy Orbison, live Bob Dylan. It’s a record store nut’s dream come true.

A word here, too, about the “lost” single from the 13th Floor Elevators, which we in Houston can partially claim as our own (they cut many of their songs in Houston, at the famed Gold Star Studios). The record available on Saturday is a limited-edition green vinyl 7″ single – “Wait For My Love” b/w “May The Circle Remain Unbroken.” Roky Erickson and the group planned this as the band’s sixth single in 1968 but never released. The two tunes are remixed by ‘Sonic Boom’ (Pete Kember of Spacemen Three & producer of MGMT), and the single will come packaged in an International Artists Records label house bag.

Another choice cut is a complete LP by the Foo Fighters, performing 12 covers including “Band On The Run,” Baker Street,” “Darling Nikki” and others. There are many, many more releases, by the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, R.E.M., ZZ Top, Phish, the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and more. The newer crop of artists will be represented by Peter, Bjorn and John, Regina Spektor, The Joy Formidable, Wild Flag and many more. Now keep in mind, these records are going into general release on Saturday and some of ’em may be available after Record Store Day but many are limited-edition releases and will likely get snapped up pretty quickly. Then, on Saturday afternoon, you can find ’em on eBay at double the retail price.

Goldmine singles out a handful of exclusive releases that disappointed them.  One of their offenders is the Bruce Springsteen offering, a 10″ LP featuring “Gotta Get That Feeling” b/w “Racing In The Street,” which will appear on his upcoming DVD Live From The Carousel. The magazine says “The ‘easy way out’ on Record Store Day: selling a sample from an upcoming release. This isn’t a special item for the fans. It’s nothing more than a promotional piece!!” Yeah, but we’ll probably buy this if we can get our hands on it.

Our suggestion to you for Record Store Day: Check out the list of exclusive releases, show up early (before opening time) and know what you want to buy when you get into the store. And please, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on an exclusive release: take it home, remove the wrapper, take out the record and play it. Call your kids into the room and play it for them. Dance if you want, or just listen to the music. Share it, talk about the memories conjured by this great old and new music and let somebody younger listen to it again and again. Don’t be one of those assholes who forces them to go find this stuff on eBay.

Record Store Day official website

Goldmine magazine “Top Ten Record Store Day” vinyl 2011 article

More Cowbell! Less Cowbell!

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2011 by 30daysout

"Don't blow this for us, Gene!"

It started for the youngsters in 2000, when “Saturday Night Live” first telecast the sketch pictured above.  It was called “Behind the Music: Blue Öyster Cult,” but later became (in) famous simply as the “Cowbell Sketch.”  Yeah, the Cult had a cowbell in its song “Don’t Fear The Reaper,” but you know that was about the only true-to-life thing in this short, delightful bit of fantasy.

We saw Blue Öyster Cult play live last summer, and during the intro to “Reaper,” singer Eric Bloom (who Will Ferrell’s character seems patterned upon) did a sort of “air cowbell” but even though his hands were empty, we heard a cowbell!  Turns out some clown in the audience had one.  Of course.

Anyway, we come back from a long and distracting work week with his lame bit of nonsense, featuring some of the greatest cowbell rock songs of all time.  Please excuse any rust, I haven’t written a blog post in a while.  So – I’m sure you can check the internets for a comprehensive list of rock songs featuring the cowbell, and I invite you do to so if that’s what blows yer skirt up.  I just want to talk a little bit about the cowbell its own bad self, and explore the reasons why it may have found its way into rock songs.  Well, it’s cheaper than a drummer and doesn’t require much coordination (or rhythm, if that guy in the Blue Öyster Cult crowd is any indication).

Well, that was a shallow well … what about cowbells as noisemakers during sporting events?  The only place where they could have some effect would be in the confines of a gymnasium, during a basketball game.  I do know at the University of Texas (and many other schools in the NCAA) bans noisemakers like cowbells, whistles and air horns.  And maybe thunder sticks too, if that’s what also blows up yer skirt.  Certainly vuvuzelas, those are annoying in any context.  Oh man, I’m dyin’ here.

Let’s just listen to some music with cowbells (not the usual suspects, except for maybe one or two) and I’ll tack on the date the song first appeared.  Perhaps one day we can talk about sleigh bells in rock music – maybe Brian Wilson can guest on “SNL” and they can create a whole new skit!

MP3: “Grazing In The Grass” by Hugh Masekela (1968)

MP3: “Time Has Come Today” by the Chambers Brothers (1966) (Long version, with more and “psychedelicized” cowbell!)

MP3: “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey” by the Beatles (1968)

MP3: “Low Rider” by War (1975)

MP3: “Evil Ways” by Santana (1969, live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Stone Free” by Jimi Hendrix (1966, mono version)

MP3: “Killing In The Name Of” by Rage Against The Machine (1992)

MP3: “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns n’ Roses (1987)

And the all-time greatest rock song featuring cowbell: “Honky Tonk Women,” by the Rolling Stones.  This video is from the Stones’ Voodoo Lounge tour from 1994 or so … and how awesome is Keith Richards playing that famous riff one-handed?  It’s that open-G tuning he keeps his guitar in; read his book.


Repost: On the Trail of the Hellhound

Posted in Rock Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2010 by 30daysout

(Editor’s Note: Recently John Mellencamp has been in the news, promoting his new album No Better Than This, which comes out in August.  He recorded a couple of songs for the new album in Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, where legendary bluesman Robert Johnson supposedly recorded some of his greatest songs.  We’ve been told repeatedly that nobody knows where the recordings really took place, and there is no explanation in the press material for the album how they identified this particular room.  But who cares, really – here’s our original post from 2008.)

Perhaps no musician is as influential as the bluesman Robert Johnson.  Supposedly he sold his soul to the Devil so he could play his guitar like no one else.  And maybe he did – his songs “Cross Road Blues,” “Love In Vain,” “Sweet Home Chicago” and “Dust My Broom” are part of the bedrock of American music.  Johnson’s songs have been covered by the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin, among many others.

His music comes from the heart of the Mississippi Delta where Johnson lived and played until he died in 1938 under mysterious circumstances.  However, his entire catalog was recorded in Texas, during two short sessions in San Antonio and Dallas.  The San Antonio sessions produced some of the songs listed above.  Writer Dave Marsh once said, “Has there been any other single recording session that produced music so beautiful, so tortured, … so historically resonant?  No.”

Johnson first recorded in November 1936 at San Antonio’s Gunter Hotel, located just a few blocks from Alamo Plaza.  Now called the Sheraton Gunter Hotel, it has a few more floors than it did in Johnson’s day but it is still a nice place.

Some years back, I decided to stay a few nights in the Gunter close to where Johnson cut some of his most famous songs.  I had long since replaced the hellhound on my trail with two rugrats on the back seat – so I took my family.

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