Rock Chain #30: Dream Giant

derek shulman

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 here in the blog once a month.

Many people don’t know that but the second album from “Ultra-Progressive” band Gentle Giant, titled “Acquired Taste”, was produced by Tony Visconti.

Tony Visconti, obviously is more often associated with David Bowie and T. Rex, and more recently with producing I am a River, the last track on “Sonic Highways” the cd soundtrack to the wonderful American musical cities documentary made by the Foo Fighters.

Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl is a consummate metalhead as it was proven by the guests in his project Probot. He even managed to get Wino from St. Vitus to participate.

St. Vitus obviously got his name from the Black Sabbath tune “St. Vitus Dance” on Vol. 4.

Vol. 4 is the album with the ballad “Changes” which a lot of people thought featured Ozzy playing the piano because of the photos, but actually Tony Iommi played it.

Tony Iommi once played for Jethro Tull and appeared with the band in the Rock and Roll Circus special, carried out by the Rolling Stones.

The Rolling Stones are often rightfully credited with saving the fortunes of black bluesmen in America for their championing of the Blues when they started making success. This is clearly showed on the great movie Cadillac Records, which features Beyoncé singing greatly actual good music. She sings the Blues standard “I’d rather go blind” immortalized by Etta James and recently wonderfully re-recorded by Beth Hart on her first album with Joe Bonamassa, Don’t Explain.

Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart toured Europe and recorded a live album in Amsterdam with the latter’s band which features Anton Fig on drums.

Anton Fig played on Kiss’ Unmasked, replacing Peter Criss.

Peter Criss, ironically enough, is the writer of the band’s highest charting single, “Beth”.

“Beth” is on “Destroyer”, produced by Bob Ezrin.

Bob Ezrin worked with a lot of bands but the one he worked most with was Alice Cooper.

Alice Cooper’s first record label was Bizarre Records, owned by Frank Zappa.

Frank Zappa also formed the odd all-girls group GTO’s which had in its ranks Pamela des Barres.

Pamela des Barres is now the recognized author of groupie autobiography I’m with the band and was once Jimmy Page’s girlfriend.

Jimmy Page in 2014 was presented with the Honorary Doctorate Degree by Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Many musicians already passed by Berklee but it is mostly remembered by Metal fans for being the birthplace of Dream Theater.

Dream Theater was signed to ATCO Records by the record company A&R man, Derek Shulman. Do you know who Derek Shulman was before this job? Gentle Giant’s lead singer.

Current playlist:


Saxon – Battering Ram

Blind Guardian – Somewhere Far Beyond

Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal”

You can contact me at:

Add me on Facebook:!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico



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