Welcome to Rock of Agers

Welcome to Rock of Agers

Friday, November 28, 2014

The KInks: Will They Reunite at 50?


The Kinks were part of the '60s British Invasion, but the band had too many diverse sounds and styles to fit comfortably in any one category. The Anthology 1964-1971 box set collects many of The Kinks' songs, along with rare demos, session outtakes and 25 previously unreleased tracks including the band's first hit, "You Really Got Me," which is seen as a predecessor to punk rock.
"My brother Dave and I played records so loud it made the speakers distort," Ray Davies tellsFresh Air's Terry Gross of the 1964 hit, "and we thought it'd be a nice idea to make the guitar sound that distorted, and we cranked up the amplifier and I stuck a knitting needle in it."
Davies joins Gross to talk about the band's "pigheadedness," his older sister's parting gift to him before she died, and his own near-death experience at 13, nearly suffocating during surgery to repair damage from a fall when he was 6.

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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Getting Anything You Want from Alice's Restaurant for 50 Years


On Thanksgiving 1965, Arlo Guthrie visited friend Alice Brock and her husband at their home, a church in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and did them a favor by taking out their garbage. The dump was closed that day, so Guthrie and a friend dropped the garbage off a cliff where other locals had previously dropped trash. Guthrie was arrested the following day, and the mark on his record miraculously kept him out of Vietnam by making him ineligible for the draft.

Guthrie recalled the incident in hilarious detail in 1967's "Alice's Restaurant," which became his most beloved song and the subject of a 1969 movie. (The Old Trinity Church, where Alice lived, is now the Guthrie Center). It's also become a Thanksgiving tradition, played nationwide on public radio every year.

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Thanksgiving Playlist of Songs About Pilgrims, Indians



With Thanksgiving only 1 day away, here is a playlist of 20 songs dealing with pilgrims and Indians.

Click here for your Thanksgiving playlist.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It Was 30 Years Ago Today - Do They Know It's Christmas?


On Nov. 25, 1984, dozens of the biggest U.K. musicians - past and present - gathered in Trevor Horn's London studio under the moniker Band Aid to record the now-classic holiday song "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

Learn about that recording in a post that 1st appeared in Ultimate Classic Rock, by clicking here.

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.