Welcome to Rock of Agers

Welcome to Rock of Agers

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Talking with Stevie Van Zandt

Steven Van Zandt is a Renaissance man. 

This term is particularly appropriate because, as he states, “I don’t have much interest in the modern world, and I don’t pretend to.” 

Nonetheless, he remains an active contributor to contemporary American culture as the host of SiriusXM’s “Little Steven’s Underground Garage,” the co-writer and star of the Lilyhammer television series (following his extended run in The Sopranos) and his longtime post in the E Street Band, as well as his work with other artists (most recently The Rascals’ Eddie Brigati). He also just completed the new studio album Soulfire and will return to the road with his own 15-piece band, Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul, following the record’s release. 

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Led Zeppelin Breaks Through with 'Whole Lotta Love'

As far as we’re concerned, any Jimmy Page sighting is a good sighting. And though we’d prefer it to be onstage or in a recording studio, we’ll take what we can get. Like this photo, for instance, of Page grinning broadly recently with a fellow whom you might not recognize. It’s the guitar legend pictured with his friend of nearly five decades, Jerry Greenberg. Who, you ask? Greenberg was named the President of Atlantic Records in 1974, at 32, the youngest president of a major U.S. record label.

Greenberg oversaw Atlantic’s day-to-day operations during what many will define as the bullseye of what we now call the classic rock era… the 1970s period that spearheaded the development of superstar rock bands like Led Zeppelin on FM radio and, er, led to huge album sales and arena and stadium tours.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Steppenwolf, Born to Be Wild, and Easy Rider

It’s truly one of the most defining moments in 1960s cinema, and the music makes it so. Peter Fonda (Wyatt, a.k.a. “Captain America”) and Dennis Hopper (Billy) are riding gleaming handcrafted choppers, somewhere in the desert. They come to a complete stop on the side of the road and we see them from behind. Captain America—stars-and-stripes flag on the back of his jacket, on his fuel tank, on his helmet—lifts his left arm to look at his watch. Billy, shades and cowboy hat, is to his right.
They say nothing. We see Wyatt remove the watch and then we see it on the desert floor. He won’t be needing it anymore. He is free from the constraints of time.
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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Classic Rock's Most Dysfunctional Bands

Music groups are a lot like families and, as the above gallery of Rock’s Most Dysfunctional Bands illustrates, they have many of the same issues as your average family.

Oh sure, it’s all fun and games at first: Musicians come together, unified by a shared love of performance. Outsized dreams put a rosy tint on any early disagreements that may crop up inside their still-developing personal relationships. (They do call it “playing” music, after all.) Once that initial rush of excitement subsides, however, underlying issues tend to bubble up.

It’s not a matter of if so much as how dysfunctional a band will become as they deal with the fame (or lack thereof) that inevitably surrounds rock and roll. What’s amazing is how the same internal issues that derail so many groups actually fuel a precious, special few. For the lucky ones, emotional tension between members actually sparks their creativity, to the point that their career actually thrives from all this drama.

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