Welcome to Rock of Agers

Welcome to Rock of Agers

Sunday, March 26, 2017

15 Priceless Warren Zevon Stories

The first time I saw Warren Zevon on stage, I was a young rock critic and he was drunk.

It was May, 1978 and he was performing in Boston, riding high with the improbable hit, Werewolves of London. The concert was something of a shambles.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hall of Fame Keyboardist Talks Santana, Journey

How many musicians can say they’ve co-founded not one—but two—classic rock bands with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame credentials? 

And of those musicians, how many can claim status as a longstanding member of a former Beatle’s backing band? 

With the December announcement of Journey’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—which becomes official on April 7 at the induction ceremony being held in Brooklyn—Gregg Rolie now occupies that rarefied position.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Altamont: The Chilling End of the 60s Spirit

On December 6th, 1969, The Rolling Stones hosted what proved to be one of the most tragic concerts ever at the Altamont Speedway, effectively silencing the rising counterculture movement and, in a sense, the 60’s themselves.
As the turbulent decade went on, what started as a utopian dream of free love and grinning madness born of sunshine and an infectious, enthusiastic hope sadly faded into screams in the dark at Altamont. The Stones front man Mick Jagger beseeched the crowd for a return to sanity, but the wave of heady change that had gone out years before had finally came crashing back in, drowning a dream.
The sixties ended in more ways than one, near the epicenter of the cultural revolution’s birthplace, San Francisco, CA. The spirit that had permeated the heart of any nation, it’s youth, was one of yearning. Yearning for change in social and racial views, an end to the decade long wars in southern Asia and an abandonment of the outdated roles gender inequality. People wanted America to live up to its slogan and truly be “The Land Of The Free.” It had been almost two hundred years since our founding, and after almost two centuries of living a lie, the drive for true freedom was gaining steam.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Some Final Words About the Life, Legacy, and Legend of Chuck Berry

The greatest artists offer a reflection for a nation to see itself and its time, and Chuck Berry, a beautician by trade, knew a thing or two about holding up a mirror for a customer. 

His most famous song, “Johnny B. Goode,” is a classic story of the American dream: A poor, uneducated boy from the sticks uses his ability to make a guitar ring like a bell to make good—or so the listener is left to assume, though Berry left the ending notably ambiguous.

But Berry, unlike his protagonist, didn’t grow up in log-cabin rural squalor—he was a middle-class African American from segregated urban St. Louis. It is another of his compositions, using nearly the same opening riff—and when you write a lick that good, why not reuse it?—that demonstrates Berry’s ability to depict post-war America so convincingly.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chuck Berry: The 20 Essential Songs

Elvis Presley will forever be known as the king of rock & roll in name, but few would dispute Chuck Berry's status as the genre's true godfather – the one most directly responsible for its endlessly adaptable blueprint. 

"Chuck had the swing," Keith Richards told RS. "There's rock, but it's the roll that counts." Here, in the wake of Berry's passing, we survey a selection of the songs that helped make him immortal.

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Encore 1

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Music World Reacts to Chuck Berry's Death

There is no living rocker who doesn’t stand in the shadow of Chuck Berry, and following his death on Saturday at age 90, musicians from all genres took to social media to honor the rock pioneer. 

Below, we round up the tributes.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Rock Pioneer Chuck Berry Dead at 90

Chuck Berry, the perpetual wild man of rock music who helped define its rebellious spirit in the 1950s and was the sly poet laureate of songs about girls, cars, school and even the “any old way you choose it” vitality of the music itself, died March 18 at at his home in St. Charles County, Mo. He was 90.
St. Charles County police announced the death in a Facebook post on its Website, saying officers responded to a medical emergency at Mr. Berry’s home and administered lifesaving techniques but could not revive him. No further information was available.
“While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together,” reads Mr. Berry’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986
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Friday, March 17, 2017

The Who to Take Up Residency in Las Vegas

 The Who is taking up residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas this summer.
Caesars Entertainment announced Monday that the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will become the first rock band to take up residence at the hotel-casino's Colosseum since the venue opened in 2003.
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

As Baby Boomers Become Collectors, Prices of Vintage Guitars Skyrocket

True love knows no fear, and legendary blues guitarist B.B. King once rushed into a burning building to save his beloved Lucille. But Lucille wasn’t his wife – it was actually his Gibson 335 electric guitar. The incident is emblematic of the respect that most musicians show their instruments.
That love has translated into a burgeoning guitar collector’s market over the last 30 years, with some instruments that originally sold for US$200 or less back in the 1950s selling for upwards of US$200,000 today. Although such guitars are rare, Kevin Drost, director of international strategy for online instrument sales site Reverb.com, estimates that one such high-rolling transaction is conducted at the site every month.
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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bruce Springsteen Gets Angry on 'Wrecking Ball'

Around the time of the 2008 economic collapse, Bruce Springsteen was working on a gospel music album. When he found that particular style of music didn’t suit his anger and frustration regarding what he was hearing in the news, and seeing happen to friends and relatives, he scrapped the entire record and started over.

The Boss began to write what started as “folk songs” about the current state of America and what he perceived as inequality, corruption and a lack of care. As a songwriter, Springsteen was about as angry as he’d ever been.

“You can never go wrong pissed off in rock ’n’ roll. The first half of [the album], particularly, is very angry,” Springsteen told a group of reporters in 2012, the year’s of the record’s release. “The genesis of the record was after 2008, when we had the huge financial crisis in the States, and there was really no accountability for years and years. People lost their homes, and I had friends who were losing their homes, and nobody went to jail. Nobody was responsible.”

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Monday, March 6, 2017

The Legacy of Derek and the Dominoes

“That thing was like lightning in a bottle,” begins our Bobby Whitlock interview of his short-lived band with Eric Clapton, Derek and the Dominos. “We did one club tour, we did one photo session, then we did a tour of a bit larger venues. Then we did one studio album in Miami. We did one American tour. Then we did one failed attempt at a second album.” And all within about a year’s time in 1970.
So in this case, the oft-overused flash of lightning description is right on the money. 
And Whitlock was a key part of the kinetic energy behind what’s considered a genuine landmark in not just Clapton’s career but the entire classic rock genre: the 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, co-writing six of the double album’s 10 original songs (plus… read on), and bringing his soul-soaked Deep South keyboard skills to the musical mix, taking the vocal lead on two tracks and doubling/trading off with Clapton throughout the rest of the album.
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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Eric Burdon and the Animals in Concert

Eric Burdon and the Animals were recently the headliner on the 2nd-ever Flower Power Cruise. Here is a picture page capturing Burdon and the his band in concert from that cruise:

And here's shots of Eric being interviewed: