Welcome to Rock of Agers

Welcome to Rock of Agers

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

David Bowie: How Can That Voice Not Be Here Anymore?



By Dave Price
1st published in Booming Encore


Shirley Giddens remembers with absolute certainty her surroundings when she first heard the news.
It was early morning and she was in her kitchen getting ready for the drive to the South Jersey high school where she has taught English for the past 20 years.
Her boyfriend Sam knocked on the door. She could tell by his face something was seriously wrong.
“He just came up to me, hugged me tightly, and whispered ‘Mr. Bowie died last night’”, Giddens says.
To keep reading this article, click here

Monday, September 18, 2017

63-Year-Old Punk-Pop Star Supports, Lives Feminism


By Dave Price
This article 1st appeared in Sixty and Me
A little more than three decades ago, singer Cyndi Lauper told us that girls just want to have fun. Today, at age 63, Lauper is teaching us that mature women can still have a good time.
She also says that they can continue speaking out on important social issues such as gender, sexuality, and aging. They are also establishing a strikingly personal sense of beauty and fashion.
Over the years, there have been many interviews about her song, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” It was the 1983 mega-hit that propelled Cyndi Lauper to stardom. She has been asked many times about the single that became a sing-along, dance-along feminist anthem.
Cyndi says, “It was very blatantly feminist. It meant that girls want to have the same experience that any man could have.”
To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Gregg Allman's Final Album Is a Brilliant Commentary on Leaving This World


As rock superstars fade from the glare of fame into the shrouds of nostalgia, a few find ways to keep connecting. It’s not easy: Talent is critical but more important is honesty. This is especially true when the end of one’s path comes into view, when that road no longer stretches past the horizon but stops somewhere short of there.
When Gregg Allman recorded Southern Blood (***½ out of 4), he could see what lay ahead. Knowing that this was his farewell statement, he crafted it meticulously all the way up to the end of his journey, as producer Don Was indicated in the album’s liner notes: “He spent his final night listening to the latest mixes and closed his eyes knowing that his vision had been realized.”
To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mixing It Up with NRBQ


For decades, critics, musicians, and a slew of civilian devotees have testified to the idiosyncratic brilliance of NRBQ. Yet they've had to endure endless interviews and think pieces where the underlying question is: if you're so damned exceptional, why aren't you more famous?

That has to be annoying, the constant drumbeating about the relative lack of commercial success, the rolling out of endorsements from cultural icons as diverse as Keith RichardsBonnie RaittPaul WesterbergElvis Costello, Zooey Deschanel, and Homer Simpson. 

To keep reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Rickenbacker's 12-String Changes Rock



February 8th, 1964 was a fortuitous day for Rickenbacker guitars. That's when Francis C. Hall, the owner and president of the company, connected with the Beatles in New York City. In his suite at the Savoy Hilton, Hall unveiled for the group Rickenbacker's latest offering: the electric 12-string guitar, the shimmering sound of which would help define an era.

John Lennon was the first of the Fab Four to audition the 12-string, but he thought it might be a better instrument for George Harrison, who had stayed behind in his hotel due to illness. Indeed Harrison gravitated to the guitar and became an early adapter. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fleetwood Mac's Forgotten Hero


Everyone knows Fleetwood Mac, the mega-selling incarnation fronted by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. And rock aficionados know the original, blues-rooted version of the band starring Peter Green. But there's a bridge between those two starry incarnations led by a key figure lost to rock history—Danny Kirwan.

"Danny was a quantum leap ahead of us creatively," Mick Fleetwood said of Kirwan's early influence on the group. "He was a hugely important part of the band."

To keep reading this article, click here.

Monday, September 11, 2017

How The Rolling Stones Changed Rock


The Rolling Stones weren't always a venerated rock institution, but they might have always been what they've been semi-officially called for decades, "The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band." 

Type that phrase into Google, and out of the millions of articles that pop up, most lead to articles about the Stones, and that makes sense, because so much of what we think of as the idea of a rock band didn't exist until the Rolling Stones.

Unless you were there in 1964, you might not realize how much they upended everything: the Stones' music and, just as crucially, the Stones' reputation, began creeping into the lives of American kids. Not in the way the Beatles did, in one tsunami of attention, acclaim, and ecstasy, but sneakily and incrementally, one song, one television appearance, at a time throughout their first year of seducing the U.S. audience until their impact finally, in the early summer of 1965, became undeniable and unshakable. 

If you were there and watched it unfold in real time, it likely changed your life.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Roger Waters Reminds Fans Who Us and Them Really Are


It couldn’t have been more obvious who the “Us” and “Them” are that Roger Waters has chosen to call his upcoming North American tour. 

Waters didn’t speak directly about his disdain for the 45th President of the United States, instead using the on-screen visuals on the giant screens at Sunday night’s final dress rehearsal for his massive “Us + Them” tour.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

OTD (1964) - 'House of the Rising Son' Rises to #1


To chart-topping American acts like Steve Lawrence (“Go Away Little Girl”) and Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs (“Sugar Shack”), 1963 had been a year filled with promise. 

And then came the Beatles, whose dramatic arrival in January 1964 clearly posed a commercial threat. By the middle of 1964, with Louis Armstrong (“Hello Dolly”) and Dean Martin (“Everybody Loves Somebody”) both having earned #1 pop hits, it may have seemed that the worst was over. 

But then came another blow in the form of the Animals, whose signature hit, “House of The Rising Sun,” reached #1 on the U.S. pop charts on this day in 1964. Steeped in a musical idiom very different from “She Loves You” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” “House of The Rising Sun” hinted at an entirely new line of attack from the forces of the British Invasion.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, September 1, 2017

On the Charts: Top 40 as of the End of August, 1967


The warm months midway through 1967 became known as the Summer of Love as the hippie counterculture’s message of peace and love gathered steam across the country. 

And this week on New York City’s Top 40 mainstay WABC reflected that spirit with plenty of all time classic rock greats.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Small Faces Start Thinking Big


Having nipped smartly into the No. 1 best selling album slot with Ogdens Nut Gone Flake, the Small Faces are now deservedly considered big wheels in the progressive pop stakes.

To see how they were enjoying their new found status I journeyed to Immediate control headquarters where on a bright sunny afternoon, there was only a skeleton crew holding fort and things were strangely quiet.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How Nils Lofgren Almost Became the Next Big Thing


In the early '70s, Grin seemed like a band on the brink of big league success. Their stellar second album, 1+1 had shown that American rock didn't need to be lunk-headed or self-indulgent. Or strummed by laid-back guys who just wanted to chug all night.

Nils Lofgren, the band's founder and front man, was championed by almost everybody—especially rhapsodizing rock critics—as a prodigiously talented musician-singer-songwriter.

Lofgren was a bag of tricks: his voice could be plaintive and vulnerable or gritty and assertive; his guitar playing was fluid and inventive. At their best, his songs were a hybrid of power pop and riff-heavy rock; and Nils came up with some of the most infectious melodies this side of McCartney. He embodied all of the most-prized values of classic pop-rock. 

How could he possibly miss?

To keep reading this article, click here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What Happened to Savoy Brown?


Savoy Brown has never had a song on the pop charts and none of their albums have ever inched above the top thirty anywhere in the world. 

Yet, for aficionados of British blues, they hold a unique place. Between 1967 and 1974, Savoy Brown released nearly a dozen notable albums that took a holistic approach to the blues, snaking through an ever-evolving mix of boogie, R&B, jazz, and psychedelic rock.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Was Michael Bloomfield a Guitar God?


When Bob Dylan went electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, he made sure he had blues guitar god Mike Bloomfield at his side.
Of course! Bloomfield's fluid, dynamic virtuosity shaped pivotal moments during classic rock's creative surge.

His ear-opening forays with the swashbuckling Paul Butterfield Blues Band forged the template for future superstars like Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck

Lyrical, acerbic, exuberant, and aching, Bloomfield's guitar stings with vibrato and channels chromatic flourishes, which have shaped pickers from Duane Allman to Joe Bonamassa.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, August 25, 2017

In Concert: Everybody Knows Stephen Stills and Judy Collins


The forthcoming album of duets by Stephen Stills and Judy Collins is called Everybody Knows

The title comes from the Leonard Cohen song they cover on the recording (which you can hear by scrolling down to the bottom), but it could also apply to the prevailing atmosphere inside the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, N.J., on Wednesday night (Aug. 16).

Nearly every member of the audience was old enough to know that Stills and Collins met in 1968, at the dawn of the CSN era, and had a brief but torrid relationship—and that she was the muse for his “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” one of that group’s signature songs.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ageless Ronnie Spector Talks Bond with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band



Let me tell you (a) little story of how I got to Asbury Park in the first place. I am walking down the street in New York City, mid-'70s and I hear this voice yell out, “Hey Ronnie, Ronnie Ronette,” so I turn around and it’s John Lennon. I actually met John the first night we landed in the U.K. in January '64. Anyway, John asked me how am I doing, and I tell him, "Not good, I need to make music." John said he was busy being a house husband taking care of his son, but introduced me to his engineer, Jimmy Iovine.

That night, Jimmy invited me down to the Record Plant where he was working with a band from Jersey. When I walked into the studio, I met Little Steven (Van Zandt), who was producing Southside Johnny. And (Bruce) Springsteen was there, too, and right on spot Bruce re-wrote a song for me and Johnny to sing as a duet, “You Mean So Much to Me Baby.” They were all excited when I showed up, and more excited when I started to sing. I was surprised they knew me.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

OTD (1970) - Lou Reed Leaves the Velvet Underground


The most famous and widely quoted observation about rock pioneers the Velvet Underground is generally credited to guitarist Brian Eno, who supposedly said that while only a handful of people bought their albums in their original release, every one of those people was inspired to go out and start his own rock band.

To judge from the number of artists over the last four decades whose sound and songwriting reflect the Velvets’ influence, Eno was right on the mark.

Arguably the most influential American band of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Velvet Underground had an impact on modern rock and roll that was well out of proportion to the popularity they achieved in their short-lived heyday. 

To keep reading this article, click here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Woodstock Performers: Where Are They Now?


When you do the math, it’s not too surprising that a great number of artists who performed at the Woodstock festival on August 15-18, 1969, are no longer with us. The good news is that many still are, some of them still creating brilliant music. 

Here is a brief guide to the status of most of the artists who made history and helped define classic rock that weekend in upstate New York.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Dancing in the Dark: A Solar Eclipse Soundtrack


Today is the day for the big solar eclipse.

To enhance the experience, we've put together a musical playlist for your solar eclipse watching (and listening) pleasure. Pink FloydYusuf/Cat Stevens, Bonnie Tyler, Death Cab for Cutie and TV On The Radio bring us songs about the moon and the sun; as well, we have Carly Simon's classic song about a self-absorbed lover who flew a Learjet to Nova Scotia "to see the total eclipse of the sun." 

You can plan your eclipse party here; however, just like eclipse glasses are a must, be sure to have this solar eclipse playlist ready! Listen below.

To keep reading this article, click here.

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.

To keep reading this article, click here.

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.

To keep reading this article, click here.

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.
To keep reading this article, click here.

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.
To keep reading this article, click here.

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.
To keep reading this article, click here.

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.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

OTD (1995) - Jerry Garcia Dies


Few if any American rock musicians have achieved the iconic stature of guitarist, singer, songwriter of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, viewed by many as the band’s leader (a role he eschewed) and figurehead as well as the musical embodiment of the 1960s counterculture. 

He died of a heart attack at age 53 on August 9, 1995, at the Serenity Knolls treatment center in Forest Knolls, California, where he was undergoing treatment for addiction to heroin and cocaine.

To keep reading, click here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

50 Greatest Guitarists in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


It's the instrument most associated with rock and roll. It's also one of the handful of things on Earth that's undeniably cool as hell.

The guitar has been the centerpiece of music since the early days, from acoustic-driven folk and blues to British rock and heavy metal. And one place to celebrate the best axe men of all time is, not surprisingly, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

For this list, we only considered guitarists that have been INDUCTED into the Rock Hall. That rules out players whose bands aren't quite eligible yet (Tom Morello, Jonny Greenwood, Jack White, etc.) and snubs like Link Wray, Robert Fripp of King Crimsons, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.

We present our picks for the 50 greatest guitarists among the Rock Hall's inductees based on influence, skill, musicality and showmanship. Judge us if you must.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Lennon Remarks Spark Fiery Beatles Backlash



On the precipice of a 1966 U.S. tour, the Beatles had a problem. Though throngs of devoted fans eagerly awaited the Fab Four’s August trek, many others sought to protest at scheduled shows, cancel shows or ban the group entirely.

This was the fallout from John Lennon comparing the popularity of the Beatles and Jesus Christ earlier in the year. The singer-guitarist told British journalist Maureen Cleeve, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that. I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity.”

The quote caused little irritation in the U.K., but in July, when it was reprinted without context in America (via teen magazine Datebook), the storms of controversy flared. Some folks, from Alabama DJs to church leaders, misunderstood that Lennon was claiming his band was superior to Jesus. Certain southern radio stations refused to play Beatles songs, church groups organized bonfires of Beatles records and the band received countless death threats.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Reflecting on the Great Jerry Garcia on What Would Have Been His 75th Birthday



Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jerry Garcia was best known as a founding member of the Grateful Dead, the rock band for which he served as de facto leader for 30 years, from 1965 until his death in 1995. Concurrently for much of that time, he also led his own Jerry Garcia Band (JGB), and he performed and recorded in a variety of configurations and a variety of styles, particularly styles of folk and country music, sometimes switching to banjo or pedal steel guitar for the purpose.
But the Grateful Dead remained his primary musical outlet, and he performed thousands of concerts with them and appeared on dozens of their albums (many of them live recordings), 28 of which reached the Billboard charts during his lifetime, including the million-sellers Workingman's DeadAmerican BeautyEurope '72Skeletons from the Closet: The Best of Grateful DeadWhat a Long Strange Trip It's Been: The Best of the Grateful Dead, and In the Dark, and another eight that went gold.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Monday, July 31, 2017

50 Years Later, The Fire Still Burns: 10 Great Covers of 'Light My Fire'


This month marks the 50th anniversary of The Doors releasing their iconic single, "Light My Fire," which put them on the map in a big, big way. Like, we're talking seriously big. 

We're talking about a level of awareness that ultimately involved the song being covered by people like Johnny Mathis and Boots Randolph. That's right: the guy who played "Yakety Sax," a.k.a. the theme to The Benny Hill Show, covered "Light My Fire." 


While that would be plenty enough proof for most people as to how big a deal the song and, in turn, the band had become, here are 10 other covers that should definitively seal the deal for anyone. 50 years later, and "Light My Fire" is still burning as brightly as ever.


To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Faces Reunion Leaves Fans Wanting More


Surrey in England is often referred to as the Stockbroker Belt, but there’s another breed who favors this affluent county: the aging rock star. 

So it was fitting that one of the best and most cherished English bands of the ’70s, the Faces, finally got back together in this part of the world.

And what a gig it was too. Hurtwood Park Polo Club was the setting and the charity Prostate Cancer UK the motivation for the lads to tread the boards once again. 

After waiting 40 years we got seven numbers, but what a glorious seven songs they were.

To keep reading, click here.