Rock Chain #15: Mad genius


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 in the blog.

Skip Spence is considered one of those mad geniuses Rock and Roll is prodigal of. He was so crazy he died as a bum in San Jose, California. He was a songwriter, guitar player and drummer and was a member of the Jefferson Airplane for their debut album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, and then left to form Moby Grape.

Moby Grape also had in their ranks drummer Don Stevenson, who played with Blues greats Big Mamma Thornton and Etta James.

Etta James was brilliantly portrayed in the movie Cadillac Records by Pop singer Beyoncé who made justice to Etta immortal interpretation of the Blues classic “I’d rather Go Blind”.

“I’d Rather Go Blind” was also brilliantly sung on the albums Don’t Explain and Live at Amsterdam, by the extremely talented Beth Hart along with Joe Bonamassa on guitar.

Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa recorded another album called Seesaw in which they covered “Nutbush City Limits” by Ike and Tina Turner.

Ike and Tina Turner are said to be, along with The Beatles, one of the concerts that most impressed Lemmy Kilmister when he saw them live. According to the Motörhead leader he couldn’t take his eyes off Tina’s legs.

Lemmy who was born in Stoke-on-Trent, the same birthplace of Slash

Slash who once played in Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo cantina as a guest from Alice Cooper.

Alice Cooper who used to be very good friends with Jim Morrison lead singer with The Doors.

The Doors tune “People are Strange” is covered in the Lost Boys soundtrack by British band Echo & The Bunnymen.

With all due respect to Echo & The Bunnymen, but the joke the character who is Frank Zappa does about them in the wonderful movie Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics calling them Echo & The Rabbit People is nothing short of hilarious.

Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics also feature Dee Snider, portraying…Dee Snider!

Dee Snider who recently announced a concert to honor A.J.Pero, recently deceased Twisted Sister’s drummer.

Twisted Sister is wrongly seen by people outside the Rock and Metal community as a one hit wonder due to “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

Bands wrongly seen as one hit wonder are a dime a dozen in the Rock World. Buffalo Springfield is another example. They only had one huge hit with “For What It’s Worth”.

And you know who was asked to join Buffalo Springfield to replace drummer Dewey Martin before forming Moby Grape? Skip Spence.

Current playlist:


Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase.

Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct


Queen – Live At Rainbow ’74 (Blu-Ray)

Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal” winner of the NABE Pinnacle Awards 2014 Fall edition.

NewPinnacleAward3D2 (1)

You can contact me at:

Add me on Facebook:!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico


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