Welcome to Rock of Agers

Welcome to Rock of Agers

Friday, August 18, 2017

Manufacturing Bob Marley


When Bob Marley died, on May 11, 1981, at the age of thirty-six, he did not leave behind a will. He had known that the end was near. 

Seven months earlier, he had collapsed while jogging in Central Park. Melanoma, which was first diagnosed in 1977 but left largely untreated, had spread throughout his body. According to Danny Sims, Marley’s manager at the time, a doctor at Sloan Kettering said that the singer had “more cancer in him than I’ve seen with a live human being.” As Sims recalled, the doctor estimated that Marley had just a few months to live, and that “he might as well go back out on the road and die there.”

Marley played his final show on September 23, 1980, in Pittsburgh. During the sound check, he sang Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” over and over. He asked a close friend to stay near the stage and watch him, in case anything happened. 

The remaining months of his life were an extended farewell, as he sought treatment, first in Miami and then in New York. Cindy Breakspeare, Marley’s main companion in the mid-seventies, remembered his famed dreadlocks becoming too heavy for his weakened frame. 

One night, she and a group of women in Marley’s orbit, including his wife, Rita (to whom he had remained married, despite it being years since they were faithful to one another), gathered to light candles, read passages from the Bible, and cut his dreadlocks off.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Look at the Late Gregg Allman's Last Song


Photos of the late Gregg Allman can be seen in the new lyric video for “My Only True Friend,” the first taste of his upcoming posthumous album Southern Blood.

Allman completed the album, which will be released on Sept. 8, in the weeks leading up to his death in May at the age of 69, following a series of health setbacks. He continued to lead a successful career since the death of his brother Duane in a motorcycle accident nearly ended the Allman Brothers Band in 1971.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Linda Ronstadt Fused Country Roots and 70s Rock


In the late ’60s and ’70s, folk and classic rock music began incorporating more country rhythms and themes. Bands like the Eagles and Creedence Clearwater Revival built their reputations on rock ‘n’ roll that often ventured into the hushed melodies and shuffled percussion common to country music. It was a time of blurred genres and open-ended rhythmic possibilities—bands weren’t consigned to a single approach, which led many to experiment with sounds. It was also around this time that pop music began its clear march to the heart of country music, with some mainstream artists looking toward a more pastoral production in their work.
There were a few artists, however, who found a truly sublime success in the meeting of various sounds, delivering song after song of emotional constriction and release. Linda Ronstadt, a country singer whose work delicately balances between the pop world and its twangy cousin, is one of the musicians who saw the boundless opportunities inherent in this confluence of sounds. She was always looking for how aesthetics could mesh and entangle themselves, leading to her collaborations with such musicians as Philip Glass, Frank Zappa, Neil Young and Warren Zevon, among a handful of others.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

OTD (1965) - The Beatles Play Shea Stadium



These days it’s no surprise when your favorite superstar rock band plays a ballpark or stadium. But for those of you too young to have lived through Beatlemania, step into our time machine and come back 52 years with us.
Rock music was still far outside the mainstream. Rock concerts were rather rare events. But in the mere 18 months since The Beatles had first arrived in America in February 1964 they’d had five #1 hits and the landscape was rapidly changing.
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Friday, August 11, 2017

10 Great Driving Songs: From Drive My Car to Born to Run


As the Stones were wont to say about the swelter season, the most tune-a-licious prospects for the well-appointed classic rocker are just down the road apiece. All you need to do is get in your car and drive.
Is there anything that goes together better than cruising in your wheels and with some great tuneage blasting away to set the soundtrack? Actually, yes. Make the music some cool driving songs and it all aligns as a peak experience.
The right driving songs set the pace, enhance the experience, and provide hi-test fuel for the driver and passengers. And these classic cuts will have you bouncing up and down in the fast lane, so remember to keep your seat belt buckled.
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Atlantic City Pop: The Great Lost Music Festival of 1969


Forty-eight years ago in August of 1969, a groundbreaking rock festival took place, one of the best ever, witnessed by many thousands of people and featuring an amazing cast of diverse bands. No, I’m not talking about Woodstock, although that one wasn’t bad either. I mean the Atlantic City Pop Festival.
Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it. Most people haven’t, even the most fanatical baby boomer rock fans. For some reason, the three-day Atlantic City, NJ bash that took place over the first weekend of that August barely registers a blip in most accounts of rock history.
It’s most likely because AC Pop was overshadowed by the events of a couple of weekends later in upstate New York. Crowds didn’t storm the site to make it a free festival. No foxy hippie girls got naked and went skinny dipping. No one died. No groovy babies were born. It didn’t close the Interstate due to people trying to get to the fest. It was not declared a disaster area. And Joni Mitchell didn’t write a song about it even if she did play at AC Pop (briefly; see below), unlike Woodstock.
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