This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll. Now, I’ll try to resurrect it every first Friday of the month here at the blog (okay, today is not the first Friday of March, but it’s the first since I’m back from holydays).
Tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of Queen shooting the controversial video for “I Want to Break Free”. Many believed that people in America didn’t get the total British humor of that video (with the whole band in drag) and this was responsible for their lack of touring in the mid-eighties in the U.S.
U.S. that was toured for the very first time by Queen as an opening act to Mott The Hoople just like Thin Lizzy’s first American tour was opening for Queen.
Thin Lizzy whose leader, Phil Lynott was raised in Ireland, but was actually born in Manchester, England. Exact the opposite of historic soccer player George Best who was born in Northern Ireland but became famous as a Manchester United striker.
George Best died of cirrhosis just like the first Uriah Heep singer, David Byron. Byron sang on their biggest classics such as “The Wizard”, “Easy Livin’”, “Look At Yourself”, “Gypsy”, “Lady In Black” and “Stealin’”.
“Stealin’” was even covered by Tesla on their wonderful covers album, “Reel To Reel”. All the versions in this album are great, but Bad Company’s “Shooting Star” really stands out. Jeff Keith really gives Paul Rodgers a run for his money.
And Paul Rodgers just released a covers record himself, reinterpreting his most beloved R&B and Blues standards.
R&B and Blues are a ubiquitous influence on a lot of great singers: David Coverdale, Steve Marriott, Robert Plant and Steve Perry, to name a few.
Steve Perry even stole a vocal melody from the great R&B singer, Sam Cooke on the Journey hit “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’”.
Speaking of stealing melodies, Ozzy Osbourne refused to use a melody he once heard on a car advertisement because it was originally written by Paul McCartney.
Paul McCartney was always vocal about his love for the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” and the songwriting talents of Brian Wilson.
The Beach Boys had a great impact on Status Quo as well. They even recorded a video together for a Beach Boys tune called “Fun, fun, fun.”
Status Quo also made an appearance in the legendary British soap-opera “Coronation Street”.
Do you know what is based on “Coronation Street” as well? The video for “I Want To Break Free.”
Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal”
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