Rock Chain #33: One of Elvis’ secrets

rickey-medlocke

Rickey Medlocke began his career as a drummer in Lynyrd Skynyrd but then he left to form Blackfoot.

Blackfoot’s first album has a great cover of the song “Wishing Well”, originally recorded by Free.

Free most famous song is “All Right Now” with its iconic guitar riff that managed to generate wonder even in guitar-heroes who wanted to learn it from the band’s guitarist Paul Kossof, like Eric Clapton.

Eric Clapton played with the Jon Mayall’s Bluesbreakers along with bassist John McVie.

John McVie later got together with drummer Mick Fleetwood and formed Fleetwood Mac.

Fleetwood Mac started up its career as a Blues band, but then moved to California and became a Rock/Pop/Folk behemoth, especially after adding singers Christine Perfect (later Christine McVie ) and Stevie Nicks.

Stevie Nicks will restart her tour in the end of this month alongside the Pretenders.

The Pretenders had in its ranks Robbie McIntosh who later found even more fame and fortune from 1989 to 1993 playing live and in all records of Paul McCartney.

Paul McCartney’s album Kisses on the Bottom has only Jazz standards he used to listen to when he was a child in Liverpool, but he invited John Walsh from The Eagles to play in it.

The Eagles early line-up was formed with musicians from the backing band of Linda Ronstadt.

Linda Ronstadt recorded the Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling Dice” on her album Simple Dreams after being persuaded to do so by Mick Jagger.

Mick Jagger was executive producer of Vivid, debut album from Living Colour.

Living Colour’s second album was Time’s Up which contained in its track-list the song “Elvis Is Dead” a good humored critic of all things Elvis Presley.

Elvis Presley really exploded with the song and album Heartbreak Hotel.

Heartbreak Hotel was written by Tommy Druden and one Mae Axton.

Do you know who Mae Axton was? She was Rickey Medlocke’s babysitter!

 

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

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

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Rock Chain #30: Almost Famous

savage

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.

Savage is one of dozens of NWOBHM bands that could have been, but stumbled upon record label promises. In their case, the label unceremoniously dumped them to invest in Grim Reaper.

Grim Reaper is also a great band, despite the fact that was constantly mocked on MTV’s Beavis & Butt-Head, just like a lot of great bands like Styx and even King Diamond.

King Diamond, after his first album, Fatal Portrait, only released conceptual records based on his horror stories and recently performed one of them, Abigail, in its entirety for a future DVD release this year from Metal Blade Records.

Metal Blade Reacords was responsible for the now legendary Metal Massacre compilations which in the first edition had a track from a band that would be more connected to the Hard Rock/Glam scene, La Jolla’s most famous sons, Ratt.

Ratt was once the biggest of all Sunset Strip bands, even having its song “Body Talk” on the soundtrack of the movie The Golden Child, starring Eddie Murphy.

Eddie Murphy (okay, a bit of movie chain here) was obviously the star of Beverly Hills Cop, which theme song was written by no other than the late great, Glenn Frey.

Glenn Frey was a founding member of The Eagles with Don Henley.

Don Henley dated Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac.

Fleetwood Mac was formed after Peter Green had left John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. He was replaced by Eric Clapton.

Eric Clapton was before that a member of The Yardbirds, with whom he toured America with bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson.

A Sonny Boy Wiliamson song called “Eyesight to the Blind” was recorded on Tommy by The Who (the only song not written by the band on that record).

The Who is still active today, although only with two remaining members, guitarist Pete Townshend and vocalist Roger Daltrey.

Roger Daltrey once recorded a failed album called Listzomania with former Yes keyboardist, Rick Wakeman.

Rick Wakeman played on Black Sabbath’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath album.

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is the album with the track “Sabbra Cadabra” which was covered by Metallica on the album Garage Inc.

In the very beginning of their career, Metallica used to play the songs “Let It Loose” and “Dirty Money” on their sets. Do you know from who are those songs? NWOBHM band that could have been, Savage.

Current playlist:

Listening:

Black Crowes – By Your Side

 

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

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

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Rock Chain # 22: Kossof Strat

Dave Murray

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.

Paul Kossof is one of the most underrated guitar players ever. He was instrumental in getting Free its signature sound and created the riff of their most famous song, “All Right Now”. He was even asked once to teach the “All Right Now” riff by none other than Eric Clapton.

Eric Clapton who is known to have said: “Is him really that fucking good?” when witnessing Jimi Hendrix playing for the first time.

Jimi Hendrix was taken to England to become a star by Chas Chandler, who was convinced to go see him in a club in New York by Linda, at the time Rolling Stones Keith Richards’ girlfriend.

Keith Richards whose new solo album has Steve Jordan on drums, who was drummer for the Late Show with David Letterman band from 1982 to 1986, until he was replaced by Anton Fig.

Anton Fig, every great Kiss fan knows, was the drummer on Ace’s solo album and on Unmasked.

Unmasked broke Kiss in Australia, and the Aussies even coined the name “Kissteria” for what was happening down under at the time. That was the first Kiss tour with Eric Carr on drums.

Eric Carr died on 25 November 1991, probably the saddest day in Rock’s history. In the same day Eric and none other than Freddie Mercury were gone.

Freddie Mercury had to wear heavy make-up in the video for “I’m Going Slightly Mad” due to the fact that he was pretty ill at that point. The track is on Queen’s last studio album with Freddie alive, Innuendo.

“Innuendo”, the song, has a Flamenco guitar part, played by Yes’ Steve Howe.

Steve Howe, besides Yes and Asia, was also part of a band called GTR who released only one album in 1985, alongside Steve Hackett, who had left Genesis in 77.

Genesis that when Peter Gabriel left, devastated one of their biggest fans: Steve Harris, who at that time was trying to break his band, Iron Maiden.

Iron Maiden whose guitarist, Dave Murray, once sold everything he had to be able to buy a Fender Stratocaster who once belonged to his greatest idol. Do you know who this idol was? Free’s Paul Kossof.

Current playlist:

Listening:

Ghost – Meliora

Watching:

Queen – Live At the Rainbow ‘74

The Da Vinci Code

Deconstructing Harry

Reading:

Under the Dome – Stephen King

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

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

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Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico

 

Rock Chain #18: Journey Man

Neal-Schon

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.

When Van Halen opened Journey concerts on the latter’s 1978 Infinity tour, Herbie Herbert, Journey’s manager was often suggesting for Journey’s guitarist to check out the opening band. The first time he did it, not only his mind was blown, as Eddie Van Halen and Neal Schon became good friends.

Before Journey, Neal Schon had already found fame and fortune as a prodigy guitar player with Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana. One of their most famous songs was a version of “Black Magic Woman”, originally by Fleetwood Mac.

Fleetwood Mac whose song “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown)” also gained more notoriety after performed by Judas Priest.

Judas Priest whose song “Eat Me Alive” was listed as one of the “filthy fifteen”, the PRMC list that chose songs that were “corrupting” American youth in the eighties. Alongside Judas Priest, there were among others, Twisted Sister and Frank Zappa.

Frank Zappa himself and Dee Snider from Twisted Sister were instrumental in winning the case for the bands and freedom speech, with their testimonies at the Supreme Court. It was they who saved the day, alongside folk singer John Denver.

John Denver is probably one of the three most famous musicians who were killed on airplane accidents, alongside Stevie Ray Vaughn and Randy Rhoads.

Randy Rhoads became famous with Ozzy Osbourne, but his former band would also become huge afterwards. Before Ozzy, he played with Quiet Riot.

Quiet Riot was part of the historical US Festival in 83 alongside Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions and Van Halen. There was also another band, who was the first one to explore commercially their participation in the festival releasing officially their CD and DVD Live at the US Festival 83 in 2003. This band was Canadian power trio Triumph.

Triumph toured the United States in 1986 with Swedish guitar-hero Yngwie Malmsteen.

Yngwie Malmsteen may have a lot of issues and you can say a lot of bad things about him, but he was responsible for giving an unknown talented 17 years old his first big break as a singer in his band: his name was Jeff Scott Soto.

Jeff Scott Soto sang for countless bands in his life, but his most famous project was probably Talisman.

Talisman once recorded a killer version of Pop single “Crazy”, originally by British singer Seal.

Seal sang “Who Wants to Live Forever” at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert in 92. A lot of songs sounded weird on this tribute. According to one singer who participated, everybody had to sing in a lower key, because nobody could do it like Freddie. This singer was Robert Plant.

Robert Plant was already the singer when Led Zeppelin was still called The New Yardbirds.

The New Yardbirds had this name because the only member from the Yardbirds left was Jimmy Page. Before, the band had Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton on its ranks.

After the Yardbirds, Clapton joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, formed Cream, Blind Faith and then Derek and the Dominos.

Derek and the Dominos rhythm guitarist for live appearances was Dave Mason, but do you know who Eric invited before him? Future Journey guitarist Neal Schon.

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: carloantico666@gmail.com

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Rock Chain #17: Streetwalkin’ Maiden

Nicko

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.

Besides drumming for Iron Maiden, Nicko McBrain has two other passions: golfing and his restaurant, Rock and Roll Ribs. There are some Rockstars who share those same passions, most notable among them, Alice Cooper.

Alice Cooper was a member of the Hollywood Vampires in the very early seventies; along with Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Keith Moon.

Keith Moon died in 1978n in what was called the “Death Flat” in London, because it was the very same place where Mama Cass Elliot from the Mamas and the Papas had died.

The Mamas and the Papas are the original writers of a song called “Dancing in the Street”, which caused a huge stir in the Van Halen camp when Dave Lee Roth wanted to record it for the Diver Down album.

Diver Down had a lot of covers and among them a killer version (and video) of “Pretty Woman” originally recorded by Roy Orbinson.

Roy Orbinson was also a member of the Travelling Wilburys with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan’s tour of 1965 had backing musicians from a band called The Hawks. After the tour, those same musicians formed a new group called The Band.

The Band’s last performance was immortalized in the Martin Scorcese’s film The Last Waltz.

The Last Waltz features a lot of special guests like Neil Young, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Dr. John and Eric Clapton.

When Eric Clapton was already famous due to his stint with The Yardbirds, his popularity skyrocketed when he recorded what became known as the Beano album with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.

John Mayall’s Bluebreakers was also breeding ground for guitar players like Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green and Free’s Paul Kossof.

Paul Kossof is said to be the subject of the song “Wishing Well”, which the lyrics talk about a guy that is always unhappy and bordering on suicide.

“Wishing Well” was also recorded by Southern Rock giants Blackfoot on their debut album, Strikes.

Many people don’t know, but for a short period of time, Blackfoot had on its ranks Ken Hensley, keyboardist and organist from Uriah Heep.

Uriah Heep bassist in 75-76 was John Wetton who found fame and fortune years later in Asia. However, before Heep he was a member of Family, with Roger Chapman.

Roger Chapman after Family had a band called Chapman Whitney Streewalkers. Do you know who their drummer was? Current Iron Maiden skin hitter Nicko McBrain.

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: carloantico666@gmail.com

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico