Welcome to Rock of Agers

Welcome to Rock of Agers

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Presley Coverup: What America Didn't Hear About the Death of the KIng

The call came to Memphis Fire Station No. 29 at 2:33 p.m. on Tuesday, August 16, 1977. The dispatcher indicated that someone at 3754 Elvis Presley Boulevard was having difficulty breathing. “Go to the front gate and go to the front of the mansion,” the voice directed. 

Ambulance Unit No. 6 swung out of the station onto Elvis Presley Boulevard and headed south, siren wailing, advertising a speed that the ponderous machine had not yet achieved.

To continue reading his post, which 1st appeared in Salon, click here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Soul Singing Mavis Staples Saluted in Chicago

When you’re 22 years old and four months into your dream job, you’re still waiting for the bottom to drop out. The whole thing feels like an elaborate hoax, like you’ve miraculously managed to con everyone into thinking you belong but that at any second they could get wise to the fact that you actually have no idea what you’re doing.

If you’re lucky, Mavis Staples will straighten you out.

To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in Paste, click here.

For a while, it looked like a bunch of artists from parts far removed from the South Side churches where Mavis Staples built her legacy was going to keep things bland for the singer's 75th birthday party.

But then Staples herself took the stage and essentially hijacked her own tribute concert from an all-star lineup of guests Wednesday at the Auditorium Theatre.
To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in The Chicago Tribune, click here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Straits Carry On Legacy of Dire Straits

There’s no doubt that Mark Knopfler carved out quite a legacy with the music he composed and released under the banner of Dire Straits. The group logged a series of successful singles that continue to get radio airplay to this day, including ‘Sultans Of Swing’ from their 1978 debut, which landed inside the Top 5 here in the U.S. — not a bad result when you’re taking your first shot at the charts.

Dire Straits reached their apex with the release of ‘Brothers in Arms’ album in 1985. A soft showing by ‘So Far Away’ — the lead single from the album that only inched its way into the Top 30 — barely hinted at what was to come on the horizon. It was of course the now-classic ‘Money For Nothing,’ featuring a special guest appearance from Sting, which broke things wide open, giving Dire Straits their first No. 1 single. The song name-checked MTV in its lyrics, and the accompanying video would certainly end up making Dire Straits a household name for anybody that owned a television that year. With ‘Walk Of Life’ waiting in the wings, ‘Brothers in Arms’ eventually became the most successful Dire Straits album ever, eventually selling more than nine million copies in the U.S. alone.

That would have been a good place to wrap it up and, indeed, in our conversation with former Dire Straits keyboardist Alan Clark, he says he’s quite surprised the band even managed one more album (1991’s ‘On Every Street’) and tour. At the end of the touring for ‘Brothers in Arms,’ it was clear that Knopfler was already looking at the idea of going his own way. After one final album and another round of marathon touring in support of ‘On Every Street,’ Dire Straits would play its final show in 1992 and effectively cease to exist.

To continue reading this this post, which 1st appeared in Ultimate Classic Rock, click here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Morning Jacket Covers Woody Guthrie Classic

While My Morning Jacket continue to work on their follow-up to 2011's Circuital, the group has stayed busy taking on other people's material. The band recorded a trippy version of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" with the Flaming Lips for the latter's With a Little Help From My Fwends Beatles cover album. Next month, MMJ frontman Jim James, alongside Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford and T Bone Burnett, will release the New Basement Tapes, a new set of music set to Bob Dylan's lyrics that were never recorded.

Now, the group has teamed up with the Department of the Interior and The North Face for a twangy country cover of Woody Guthrie's ubiquitous folk classic "This Land Is Your Land."

To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in Rolling Stone, click here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 All-Time Classic Albums That Will Be Turning 50 Next Year

The iconic sixties was a time of musical and social revolution. So many great albums were being released that classic long playing 12-inch records battled to even make the top five, such was the talent and magic on the market at that time.

In 2015, there will be 10 albums that will be commemorating a 50th anniversary since release. We will now look at those classic releases and wonder how many of these albums will get a marketing makeover, come 2015.

To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in Digital Journal, click here.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Paul Simon Recalls the Moment He Traded Rock for Folk

When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opens its new exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of Paul Simon's career, visitors will be able to walk through old artifacts in a tour led by an unlikely guide: Simon himself. 

Because the museum recorded over three hours of original interviews with the singer-songwriter, his voice and image will accompany fans as they pass items like his first acoustic guitar, handwritten "The Boxer" lyrics and 1957 missive to "Artie Garfunkel," written while young Simon was away at summer camp.

To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in Rolling Stone, click here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dylan Wanted to Make an Album with Beatles, Stones

Few figures in rock history have a more impressive résumé than Glyn Johns. Throughout the 1960s the producer/engineer worked on albums by the Rolling Stones (Beggars BanquetSticky FingersLet It Bleed), the Beatles (Let It BeAbbey Road), the Who (Who's NextQuadropheniaThe Who By Numbers), the Band (Stage Fright), Neil Young (Harvest), Eagles (DesperadoOn the Border), the Clash (Combat Rock) and too many others to mention. His new book Sound Man hits shelves on November 13th and is full of amazing anecdotes from his 50-year career.

Perhaps the most surprising story comes from his brief encounter with Bob Dylan at a New York airport. Johns was traveling with Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, who had just completed his groundbreaking interview with Dylan. "[Dylan] asked me about the Beatles album I had just finished and was very complimentary about my work with the Stones over the years," Johns writes. "In turn, I babbled about how how much we had all been influenced by his work."

Dylan then dropped a bomb. "He said he had this idea to make a record with the Beatles and the Stones," John writes.

To continue reading this post, which 1st appeared in Rolling Stone, click here.