Welcome to Rock of Agers

Welcome to Rock of Agers

Friday, September 30, 2016

In the Hall: The Beatles or the Stones?

Like so many members of the Baby Boomer generation, music - specifically rock and its related siblings country, blues, soul, gospel, and jazz - has played a central role in my life and the society surrounding it.
Cleveland DJ Alan Freed, who is credited with popularizing the term rock and roll, also is acknowledged to have staged the first rock concert on March 21, 1952. On March 26, of that same year I was born, meaning that rock music, which has shaped me in so many ways, predates my arrival on the planet by only 5 days.
Recently, I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for 2 days of exploration and research. In this ongoing series of posts entitled In the Hall, I will offer some glimpses of what you can find there if you too (or U2 in rock lingo) do visit the national mecca of rock history.
The Beatles or the Stones?

It's one of the great questions in all of rock and roll. Which is the greater band - The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame you can easily revisit that question since the Hall's large exhibition of both groups are in the same room. I like the Beatles, but I'm a Stones' guy. Which are you?



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

In the Hall: Some Great Cities of Rock

Like so many members of the Baby Boomer generation, music - specifically rock and its related siblings country, blues, soul, gospel, and jazz - has played a central role in my life and the society surrounding it.
Cleveland DJ Alan Freed, who is credited with popularizing the term rock and roll, also is acknowledged to have staged the first rock concert on March 21, 1952. On March 26, of that same year I was born, meaning that rock music, which has shaped me in so many ways, predates my arrival on the planet by only 5 days.
Recently, I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for 2 days of exploration and research. In this ongoing series of posts entitled In the Hall, I will offer some glimpses of what you can find there if you too (or U2 in rock lingo) do visit the national mecca of rock history.
London 

Memphis

Detroit

Los Angeles

San Francisco

Seattle

Monday, September 26, 2016

In the Hall: Rock as Protest

Like so many members of the Baby Boomer generation, music - specifically rock and its related siblings country, blues, soul, gospel, and jazz - has played a central role in my life and the society surrounding it.
Cleveland DJ Alan Freed, who is credited with popularizing the term rock and roll, also is acknowledged to have staged the first rock concert on March 21, 1952. On March 26, of that same year I was born, meaning that rock music, which has shaped me in so many ways, predates my arrival on the planet by only 5 days.
Recently, I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for 2 days of exploration and research. In this ongoing series of posts entitled In the Hall, I will offer some glimpses of what you can find there if you too (or U2 in rock lingo) do visit the national mecca of rock history.
Rock Can Serve as a Vehicle for Protest






And Rock Itself Can Be Protested


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Name That Band - Bad Company


Despite reports to the contrary, singer Paul Rodgers says his popular 1970s band didn't take their name from the movie Bad Company.

Rodgers said he presented the name from the title of a book of Victorian morals that showed a picture of an innocent child looking up at an unsavory character leaning against a lampost.

The picture caption read: "Beware of bad company."

Monday, September 19, 2016

Under the Covers - The Last Train to Clarksville

I have always enjoyed listening to how other artists create cover versions of original songs. Maybe it's because so many of the British Invasion songs that I began listening to in 1964 were covers. Anyway, in this ongoing series of Under the Covers posts, we will offer 2 songs from YouTube, one by the original artist and the other a cover. Hope you enjoy.
Last Train to Clarksville - The Monkees


Last Train to Clarksville - Cassandra Wilson

Sunday, September 18, 2016

In the Hall: Combining a Passion for Rock and Sports

Like so many members of the Baby Boomer generation, music - specifically rock and its related siblings country, blues, soul, gospel, and jazz - has played a central role in my life and the society surrounding it.
Cleveland DJ Alan Freed, who is credited with popularizing the term rock and roll, also is acknowledged to have staged the first rock concert on March 21, 1952. On March 26, of that same year I was born, meaning that rock music, which has shaped me in so many ways, predates my arrival on the planet by only 5 days.
Recently, I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for 2 days of exploration and research. In this ongoing series of posts entitled In the Hall, I will offer some glimpses of what you can find there if you too (or U2 in rock lingo) do visit the national mecca of rock history.


For 70-year-old Alabama native Buddy Rousso, the road to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was fairly typical of many older Baby Boomers: It began with a young Rousso in 1956 watching Elvis Presley perform on The Ed Sullivan Show on a neighbor's TV with his family, continued through Beatlemania, incorporated hundreds of live concerts including a 1965 Atlanta show by the Beatles, and encompassed thousands of hours of listening to classic rock on car stereos, 45s, albums, eight-tracks, cassettes, CDs, MP3s, and now programmed stations on SiriusXM satellite radio.

In Cleveland, I encountered Rousso and his 68-year-old wife Jo Anne, also a native of Alabama, while they were examining a showcase devoted to Jack Bruce, the legendary bassist for the Hall of Fame British band Cream.

As many rock music enthusiasts enjoy doing, the Roussos were quite happy to talk about the big role that music has played in their lives.

Jo Anne said she was introduced to what would become rock and roll in second grade by her older sisters. They would weekly watch The Lucky Strike Hit Parade, a musical variety show that aired on Saturday nights from 1950 to 1959. She said her sisters took her to see Jerry Lee Lewis at a local county fair when she was 10.

"I never really liked country, but I loved rock," Jo Anne said.

As young teenagers, both Roussos passion for rock music was fueled by radio.  Buddy listened to WBAN :"The Big Bam" originating from Montgomery, while Jo Anne was hearing the tunes played on WVOK in Birmingham.

Of course, I had to ask Buddy how he came to see the Beatles live.

"We were too poor back then to take vacations so I had cousins in Atlanta and I would go there for a week in the summer and then they would come to our place for a week. It just worked out that when I was there in 1965 so were the Beatles and we got tickets," he said.

There have long been reports that the Beatles actual performances were often drowned out by the cumulative sounds of thousands of girls screaming, shrieking, and crying. Did that happen in Atlanta?

"There was screaming from beginning to end, but we actually heard the music. The biggest disappointment  was that they played so few songs," Buddy explained.

Buddy and Jo Anne met while both were attending Alabama University. In addition to a shared affinity for music, both still have a raging passion for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. The Roussos have had seats on the 50-yard line for all "Roll Tide" home games since the 1980s.

Actually, the mid-September trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was directly linked to their mutual passions of sports and music.

"We have a bucket list and on that list we want to see a couple of college football games around the country each season. Last week, we went to South Bend (Indiana) to see Notre Dame and this week we'll be in Ann Arbor to see Michigan play," Buddy said "When we realized we would be so close to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we had to come here for a day."

So what did the Roussos think of their first visit to the Hall?

"I love the origins and the history of it all. I could stay all day listening to all the old stuff," a smiling Jo Anne said.

"I would definitely give it an 'A,'" Buddy added.

He did have one suggestion for improvement, however.

"When I first went to Cooperstown (the upstate New York site of the Baseball Hall of Fame), they have those busts of all those Hall of Famers. Man, I loved touching the old players like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig that I had read so much about. I think it would be great if they could so something like that here," Buddy explained.

Encore 1 - Buddy's Record Collection
Buddy has maintained a collection of 350 of his favorite albums, all alphabetized in a specially designed case. Which are his 3 favorites?
  1. The White Album by the Beatles 
  2. One Cream album (depending on the day and mood)
  3. Something from Janis Joplin
Encore 2 - The Beatles Set List from the the August 18, 1965 concert at Atlanta Stadium that Buddy Attended

  1. (The Top Notes cover)
    Play Video
  2. Play Video
  3. Play Video
  4. (Larry Williams cover)
    Play Video
  5. Play Video
  6. (Carl Perkins cover)
    Play Video
  7. Play Video
  8. Play Video
  9. Play Video
  10. Play Video
  11. Encore:
  12. Play Video

Saturday, September 17, 2016

In the Hall: Every Picture Tells A Story

Like so many members of the Baby Boomer generation, music - specifically rock and its related siblings country, blues, soul, gospel, and jazz - has played a central role in my life and the society surrounding it.
Cleveland DJ Alan Freed, who is credited with popularizing the term rock and roll, also is acknowledged to have staged the first rock concert on March 21, 1952. On March 26, of that same year I was born, meaning that rock music, which has shaped me in so many ways, predates my arrival on the planet by only 5 days.
Recently, I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for 2 days of exploration and research. In this ongoing series of posts entitled In the Hall, I will offer some glimpses of what you can find there if you too (or U2 in rock lingo) do visit the national mecca of rock history.












Friday, September 16, 2016

In the Hall: What Highlights Will You Find?

Like so many members of the Baby Boomer generation, music - specifically rock and its related siblings country, blues, soul, gospel, and jazz - has played a central role in my life and the society surrounding it.
Cleveland DJ Alan Freed, who is credited with popularizing the term rock and roll, also is acknowledged to have staged the first rock concert on March 21, 1952. On March 26, of that same year I was born, meaning that rock music, which has shaped me in so many ways, predates my arrival on the planet by only 5 days.
Recently, I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for 2 days of exploration and research. In this ongoing series of posts entitled In the Hall, I will offer some glimpses of what you can find there if you too (or U2 in rock lingo) do visit the national mecca of rock history.

 Among the highlights in the 6 stories of exhibitions are:
  • The Roots of Rock
  • Elvis
  • The Places and Sounds the Define Rock
  • Legends of Rock and Roll
  • Dick Clark's American Bandstand
  • Right Here, Right Now
  • The Music of Cleveland and the Midwest
  • The Early Influences
  • The Beat Goes On (artists who inspired the inductees)
  • Don't Knock the Rock (protests against rock and roll)
  • On the Air: Rock and Roll Radio
  • Rapper's Delight (the story of Hip-Hop)
  • Architects of Rock and Roll 
  • Video Killed the Radio Star
  • Experience the Music
  • Inductees Film
  • Inductees Signatures
  • Inductees Jukebox
  • Several movies and
  • Changing Special Exhibitions (currently, the major exhibit is Louder Than Words: Rock * Power* Politics)
Have you visited the Rock Hall? If you have, what did you enjoy most?

Monday, September 12, 2016

On This Date (1966) - The Monkees Make Their TV Debut




On this date in 1966 The Monkees debuted on TV. Here are 10 facts about The Monkees - individually known as Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork.
  1. Davy Jones and Mickey Dolentz were actors: Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork were musicians. But the Monkees never played their own instruments until later in their career.
  2. Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Paul Williams, and Harry Nilson are among the songwriters who wrote hits for the Monkees, who were created to capitalize on the popularity of the Beatles.
  3. Stephen Stills auditioned for the Monkees, but didn't get the job. He suggested auditioning to his friend, Peter Tork. Despite an urban legend, Charles Manson didn't audition for the show, but "Monster Mash" singer Bobby "Boris" Pickett and Three Dog Night's Danny Hutton did.
  4. In all, 437 actors and musicians tried out for the 4 parts.
  5. In their first season on TV, each Monkee earned $450 per episode.
  6. 58 total episodes were made for the show which lasted until 1968.
  7. Frank Zappa, who was a big fan of the oft-criticized group, and Tim Buckley both appeared on the show.
  8. As a child, Dolenz starred in the TV series "Circus Boy." Davey Jones was in the musical "Oliver." Mike Nesmith wrote "Different Drum," recorded by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Ponies. Peter Tork can play 12 instruments.
  9. Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees on their 1967 Tour until he was removed from the bill.
  10. The Nesmiths are quite a multi-talented family.  Mike's mother invented White Out, which netted her $47 million, and Mike himself is given much credit for initiating MTV.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Making The List: The Groups Whose 8-Tracks My Best Friend and I Listened to Over and Over in His Chevy in the later 60s.

Lists. In rock, there are set lists, and song lists, and performers lists, and equipment lists. I've always liked lists. In fact, in most of the bands I performed in, I was the one who compiled the song list and designed the set lists. So here in Rock of Agers, I'm going to make and share all types of rock-related lists. If you disagree with some of the list choices, let us know in the comments section. Or submit a new list of your own. We can all learn from lists. And they're fun to argue about.
  1. The Beatles
  2. The Rolling Stones
  3. Young Rascals
  4. Iron Butterfly
  5. Creedence Clearwater Revival
  6. Vanilla Fudge
  7. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
  8. Big Brother and the Holding Company

Friday, September 9, 2016

1966: A Great Year in Music - Kicks

If you're a long-time music lover, you probably have a favorite music year, a period when the songs stand out for multiple reasons. For me, that year is 1966
In 1966, I was 14 years old and a freshman in the South Jersey high school I attended. 
Although I didn't know it at the time, it would prove to be one of the greatest years for garage rock, a type of music named because bands just starting out would learn and practice these 3- and 4-chord songs, which were relatively easy to rehearse and then perform live at local dances. And most of these bands would rehearse either in the garage or the basement of whatever member had the most tolerant parents.
I should probably add one more thing here. 1966 was the year I joined one of these garage bands as a keyboard player. It's a role I would find myself in off and on for the next 40 years. And even though I'm no longer performing live, I still keep a couple of keyboards set up for my enjoyment in my writing office.
So periodically here in Rock of Agers I want to highlight some of my favorite songs from 1966. I'll tell a little about the tunes and sometimes a little about myself. But more importantly, thanks to YouTube, you can listen to the artists and see if you can hear some of what I and the rest of my generation first heard then. 
 Kicks - Paul Revere and the Raiders


The great songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil originally wrote "Kicks" for The Animals, but Eric Burdon and the group turned it down.

Considered one of the earliest anti-drug songs, "Kicks" reached number four on the charts in the United States, but as the hippie culture began emerging later in the decade the message of the song was considered outdated.

However, many garage bands of the mid-60s head the song on its setlist and in 2004 "Kicks" was ranked number 400 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Name That Band - Bachman Turner Overdrive


After leaving The Guess Who, Canadian rocker Randy Bachman formed a band at first called Brave Belt, then Bachman/Turner.

Because the name sounded like that of a folk rock duo like Seals and Crofts or Brewer and Shipley, the rocking band found itself playing before the wrong audience in the wrong venues since promoters kept booking them as if they were soft rock.

One day while crossing the American/Canadian border at Detroit, Bachman spotted a trucker's magazine called Overdrive and the band began taking care of business as Bachman Turner Overdrive or BTO for short.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Under the Covers - Reasons

I have always enjoyed listening to how other artists create cover versions of original songs. Maybe it's because so many of the British Invasion songs that I began listening to in 1964 were covers. Anyway, in this ongoing series of Under the Covers posts, we will offer 2 songs from YouTube, one by the original artist and the other a cover. Hope you enjoy.
Reasons - Minnie Ripperton


Reasons - Hagar Levy