Rock Chain #33: One of Elvis’ secrets


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!


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Sonic Highways


First of all let’s make one thing clear: I hate Nirvana. I always have. Yes, because I’m a metalhead and yes because I think they were responsible (along with record companies) in destroying that 80‘s scene I loved so much. Call it spite or whatever you will, but that’s my opinion. Therefore, everything you’re going to read in here has absolutely no bias regarding Nirvana.

Now that hopefully I got that out of the way, I may start today’s post. And today I’m going to remember when I used to write for a Rock/Metal magazine. Besides interviews and festival coverage, I used to write concert, CDs and DVD reviews. And I’m gonna review a Blu-ray disc today.

Right off the bat, I must say this: Dave Grohl managed to enter the pantheon of immortal Rock Stars with this one. What he did is something so valuable from a historic point of view that even if every record the Foo Fighters release from now on is bad, his place in history is guaranteed. And is definitely not because he was once part of Nirvana.

I must admit, I never really gave the Foo Fighters a fair chance because of the prejudice I felt (and still feel) towards Nirvana, although I thought that “Big Me” video was funny as hell.

However, time went on, I started liking some of their singles, Dave Grohl’s did the Probot project (which was VERY METAL) and in his interviews and attitudes he showed he was a huge fan of bands I love: The Beatles, Rush, Heart, Joan Jett, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Slayer, Queen, Motörhead and so many others. But I still thought to myself: No way, the guy is former Nirvana’s drummer, I can’t like his band.

Then I started reading about this big project of his (and the band) of recording 8 songs in eight different studios across the USA and making a documentary about each city, telling its musical and cultural history. It sounded like a great idea, until I saw the first episode on HBO. Then I thought: “This is not just a great idea, this is wonderful. I’m definitely buying this video.”

I didn’t need to catch any of the other episodes on TV to know that all of them would be great and so, as soon as I had the chance I bought the Foo Fighters Sonic Highways Blu-Ray.

And you know what? It’s not as wonderful as I thought it was. It’s like a million times better. This is a work of art. This is a masterpiece. I’m actually kind of lost for words to describe how great this is.

The statements from people like Buddy Guy (Chicago), Ian MacKaye (D.C.) Dolly Parton (Nashville), Billy Gibbons (Austin), Joe Walsh (Los Angeles), Allen Toussaint (New Orleans), Chris Cornell (Seattle), Paul Stanley (New York) and president Barrack Obama among plenty of others are sensational and coupled with some historical footage, it makes for a landmark not only in Foo Fighters career, but in music overall. And I might add that the Foo Fighters songs are actually pretty cool as well. Especially because the lyrics are all inspired in the statements given; they are actually rather clever.

In the extras, there are details about the actual recordings which will delight all you recording buffs out there. The total running time is almost ten hours, but you just don’t feel the clock ticking.

I compare this with what Spike Lee did for a capella music with his brilliant “Do it a capella”, almost twenty-five years ago. I remember saying time and again that Spike could do anything after that; and I now extend this courtesy to Dave Grohl as well. Anything bad he might do in the future, he’s forgiven. This is of essential viewing for anyone who loves music: from Grindcore to New Age. Oh, and by the way, I even forgave him for once being the drummer in Nirvana.

Current playlist:


Thunder – Wonder Days

Ruby the Hatchet – Valley of the Snake

Blackberry Smoke – Holding all the Roses


Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr.Death and John Madden’s Oakland Raiders – Peter Richmond


Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways (Blu-ray extra disc)

American Pie

House of Cards – Third Season

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

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